Serum lipid comparison in patients treated by statins or fibrates: existence of bad HDL-C responders to statins.Acta Cardiol. 2003 Jun; 58(3):179-84.AC
Major cardiac events are strongly associated with high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The HDL-C target level (40 mg/dl) is often not achieved with statins. The aim of this study was to compare the proportions of patients achieving the HDL-C target levels after one year of treatment with statins or fibrates. Furthermore, a subgroup with low HDL-C levels during statin treatment was investigated and suggestions are made for a better management of these patients.
A survey of lipid levels, cardiovascular disease and risk factors in 120 outpatients treated with a statin or a fibrate for hyperlipidaemia (total cholesterol (TC) > 250 mg/dl or triglycerides (TG) > 200 mg/dl after diet). After one year of treatment the proportions of patients achieving the target levels for TC, LDL-C, HDL-C,TG,TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C are compared for statins and fibrates.
The proportions of patients achieving the target lipid levels with statins or fibrates are comparable except for HDL-C. Compared to the baseline, the proportion of patients achieving the HDL-C target level of 40 mg/dl increases only by 8.3% for statins and by 42.9% for fibrates. In total, 38.5% of the statin group had low HDL-C-levels after one year of treatment. Among these patients, eight were treated with a fibrate before the statin and six were treated with a fibrate afterwards. In those 14 patients, mean HDL-C increased during fibrate treatment by 48.5% and TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C decreased by 25.7 and 26.5%, respectively as compared with statins.
Patients with low levels of HDL-C during statin treatment had far better levels of HDL-C, TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C with fibrates. A randomised double-blind crossover trial with simvastatin and fenofibrate has been initiated to corroborate these findings.