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Diabetes Technol Ther. 2002;4(2):145-51.

Lipid response to pioglitazone in diabetic patients: clinical observations from a retrospective chart review.

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  • 1Diabetes Care Center, 1119 Pajaro Street, Salinas, CA 93901, USA.


The objective of this study was to determine whether improvements in the lipid profile observed in controlled clinical trials with pioglitazone are seen in the clinical practice setting, and to ascertain the influence of concurrent statin treatment. Charts of 100 consecutive patients with type 2 diabetes (mean age 56.8 years) treated with pioglitazone (45 mg/day) for 2-4 months were retrospectively analyzed for changes in serum lipids, glycemic parameters, and body weight. Subanalyses were performed on the relationship of lipid changes to baseline lipid values and to concurrent statin therapy. Pioglitazone was associated with statistically significant (p < 0.001) changes from baseline in HbA(1C) (mean decrease 1.09%), body weight (mean increase 1.76 kg), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels (mean increase 15.6%), and triglycerides (mean decrease 9.9%). There was an increase (+ 1.09%) in mean individual LDL-C levels from baseline values, but this change was not statistically significant. The greatest absolute and percentage improvements in HDL-C and triglycerides were observed in patients who had the greatest lipid abnormalities at baseline: in patients with baseline HDL-C < 35 mg/dL, mean individual HDL-C values increased by 31% (p < 0.001); in those with baseline triglycerides >399 mg/dL, triglyceride levels decreased by 46% (p < 0.001); and in patients with baseline LDL-C > 129 mg/dL, mean individual LDL-C values decreased by 10.6% (p < 0.001). Subgroup analysis showed similar beneficial changes in HDL-C and triglycerides in patients who were not receiving concurrent statin therapy (n = 48) as in those who were receiving statins (n = 49). This observational study demonstrated that significant improvements in HDL-C and triglyceride levels can be achieved with pioglitazone in the clinical practice setting. The greatest improvements occurred in patients with the worst baseline lipid levels, and benefits were seen regardless of whether patients were receiving concurrent statin therapy.

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