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Journal of Clinical Lipidology
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 335 - 342

Optimal management of lipids in diabetes and metabolic syndrome

W. Virgil Brown, Luther Clark, James M. Falko, John R. Guyton, Tomas J. Rees, Gustav Schonfeld and Maria F. Lopes-Virella    

Abstract: Patients with diabetes or metabolic syndrome frequently have higher triglycerides, lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and more particles containing apolipoprotein B (ApoB); this combination contributes significantly to their cardiovascular risk. Optimal management of dyslipidemia and increased atherosclerotic risk requires a fundamental understanding of diabetic dyslipidemia, the clinical evidence for different interventional strategies, and the potential benefit of achieving therapeutic targets. For this review, we considered guidelines, recent reviews, and clinical trial results. The features of dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome are linked metabolically and are related to central adiposity and insulin resistance. Levels of ApoB and HDL cholesterol are particularly important markers of risk. Guidelines broadly agree that low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol should be reduced below population average levels. Additional or secondary strategies in patients with diabetes or the metabolic syndrome are to decrease non-HDL cholesterol, ApoB and/or LDL particle concentration, to increase HDL cholesterol, and to reduce triglycerides. Lifestyle changes and statins are the bedrock of treatment, although second-line treatment using fibrates or niacin will likely benefit many patients with residual risk. Ezetimibe, too, has a favorable effect on lipid profile and inflammatory biomarkers of risk. Dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome has a distinct profile, suggesting the need for a tailored therapy that targets the key features of lowered HDL cholesterol and raised triglycerides, in addition to the primary antiatherogenic strategy of lowering ApoB-containing lipoproteins, such as LDL. With the prominent failure of some recent intervention trials, new therapeutic strategies-particularly safe and effective means to raise HDL-are needed to manage dyslipidemia in this high-risk population.

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