Skip to main content

12-19-2017 | Cardiovascular disorders | Review | Article

New treatment options for lipid-lowering therapy in subjects with type 2 diabetes

Acta Diabetologica

Authors: Roberto Scicali, Antonino Di Pino, Viviana Ferrara, Francesca Urbano, Salvatore Piro, Agata Maria Rabuazzo, Francesco Purrello

Publisher: Springer Milan


Dyslipidemias represent a variety of quantitative and/or qualitative lipoprotein abnormalities. According to etiology, we distinguish primary dyslipidemias with strictly genetic background and secondary ones with their origin in other disease or pathological states. Diabetic dyslipidemia is a type of secondary dyslipidemia and plays an important role in determining the cardiovascular risk of subjects with type 2 diabetes. In these patients, insulin resistance is responsible for overproduction and secretion of atherogenic very low density lipoprotein. In addition, insulin resistance promotes the production of small dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and reduces high-density lipoprotein (HDL) production. Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. Previous results support the role for small, dense LDL particles in the etiology of atherosclerosis and their association with coronary artery disease. Moreover, lowering LDL cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular death. Therefore, the European guidelines for the management of dyslipidemias recommend an LDL cholesterol goal < 100 mg/dL in diabetic subjects without cardiovascular events. Moreover, if triglycerides (TG) are elevated (> 400 mg/dL), they recommend a non-HDL cholesterol goal < 130 mg/dL in diabetic individuals without cardiovascular events. Statins are the first line of LDL-lowering therapy in diabetic patients and combined therapy with ezetimibe and statins could be useful in very high cardiovascular risk diabetic subjects. Furthermore, the effect of a fibrate as an add-on treatment to a statin could improve the lipid profile in diabetic individuals with high TG and low HDL cholesterol. Regarding new therapies, recent data from phase III trials show that proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors considerably decrease LDL cholesterol. Thus, they may be useful in diabetic patients with concomitant diseases such as familial dyslipidemia, recurrent cardiovascular events, and elevated LDL cholesterol after second drug administration in addition to maximal statin dose or statin intolerance.

Please log in to get access to this content

Related topics