PURPOSE OF REVIEW - The management of dyslipidemia in patients with diabetes is a key component of cardiovascular risk reduction. In particular, the atherogenic dyslipidemia of diabetes often requires combination therapy to target aspects of the lipid profile beyond low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This article will review the characteristics of dyslipidemia in diabetes, and discuss guidelines and strategies for treatment to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
RECENT FINDINGS - A number of clinical outcomes trials supports the use of statins to reduce cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The disappointing results of clinical trials involving torcetrapib to increase high-density lipoprotein levels may lead to renewed interest and utilization of niacin for the management of atherogenic dyslipidemia. Long-term use of fibrate therapy in patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia has recently been associated with reduction in all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality rates. Ongoing trials are investigating whether addition of niacin or fibrate to statin therapy is superior to statin therapy alone in preventing cardiovascular events.
SUMMARY - Aggressive low-density lipoprotein control continues to be the primary goal of therapy in dyslipidemia management. Given the growing body of evidence showing the cardiovascular benefits of treating other lipid components, however, it is easy to anticipate that full normalization of the lipid profile may become the standard of care for diabetic dyslipidemia.