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Curr Diabetes Rev. 2005 May;1(2):127-35.

Cardiovascular disease risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome: focus on aggressive management of dyslipidemia.

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McConnell Heart Health Center, 3773 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, Ohio 43214, USA.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus and the closely related metabolic syndrome markedly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease a major contributor is the dyslipidemia. Recent studies and new national guidelines suggest these very high risk patients with cardiovascular disease achieve optional low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level of less than 70 mg/dl. In addition there may be no threshold to begin therapeutic lifestyle change and pharmacologic therapy to reduce LDL-C by 30-40%. Although randomized controlled trials with statins indicate that LDL reduction clearly reduces cardiovascular risk in these patients, the typical dyslipidemia of type 2 diabetes mellitus is also characterized by low high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, increased triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and small dense LDL, as well as increased postprandial lipemia. The later lipoproteins increase non-HDL-C levels. In order to address these abnormalities it may be necessary to utilize combined approaches with a fibrate or nicotinic acid, or other agents with statins to help reduce risk beyond statins. In addition, supervised, therapeutic life-style change is often underutilized therapy in patients with established coronary artery disease. This review will focus on maximizing the treatment of dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome and discuss the evidence based studies and new developments in the management in these very high risk patients.

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