Intensive lipid-lowering strategy in patients with diabetes mellitus.

S.D. Kanters, A. Algra, T.W.A. de Bruin, J.D. Banga*, D.W. Erkelens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Internal Medicine, Utrecht University Hospital, The Netherlands.

AIMS: To assess the feasibility of an intensive lipid-lowering strategy in diabetic subjects pursuing target plasma lipid levels. METHODS: Patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), Type 1 or 2, with plasma lipid levels exceeding target values (LDL-cholesterol <2.6 mmol/l, triglycerides < 1.7 mmol/l, HDL-cholesterol > 0.9 mmol/l for men and > 1.1 mmol/l for women) were eligible. After 6-12 weeks of diet and glycaemic control, lipid-lowering medication (simvastatin/gemfibrozil/acipimox) was prescribed in steps of incremental dosages and combinations for 30 weeks. RESULTS: Of all eligible clinic patients, 25% initially responded and finally 12% were entered. Thirty-six patients with Type 1 and 59 with Type 2 DM were studied. Mean baseline lipid levels in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic subjects were: LDL-cholesterol 3.6 and 3.7 mmol/l, triglycerides 1.7 and 2.2 mmol/l, HDL-cholesterol for men 1.1 and 1.0 mmol/l, and for women 1.4 and 1.2 mmol/l, respectively. All three target values were reached in 66% of the patients. LDL-cholesterol was reduced by 1.2 mmol/l in Type 1 and 1.3 mmol/l in Type 2 diabetic patients and triglycerides by 0.7 mmol/l and 1.1 mmol/l, respectively. HDL-cholesterol increased by 0.15 mmol/l and 0.34 mmol/l in men and women with Type 1 diabetes mellitus, respectively. The cholesterol-triglyceride ratio decreased significantly in VLDL in Type 1 diabetes and in IDL in Type 2 diabetes and increased significantly in HDL in Type 2 DM. CONCLUSIONS: A minority of subjects eligible for intensive lipid lowering agreed to participate in a feasibility study, suggesting a potentially large compliance problem for a general lipid-lowering programme in a diabetes clinic. Nevertheless, intensive lipid lowering with drug combinations can attain the recommended target lipid levels in 66% of subjects with diabetes. With this strategy the plasma lipoprotein composition shifts towards a less atherogenic profile. Subjects with diabetes should therefore receive lipid-lowering therapy tailored to reach target levels, rather than standard dosages, in order to reduce atherogenic risk.

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-508
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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