Dyslipidemia: management using optimal lipid-lowering therapy.Ann Pharmacother. 2012 Oct; 46(10):1368-81.AP
To evaluate current approaches and explore emerging research related to dyslipidemia management.
MEDLINE (2004-April 2012) was searched for randomized controlled trials using the terms dyslipidemia and lipid-lowering therapy or statin (>1000 hits). Separate searches (MEDLINE, Google) identified meta-analyses (2010-2011), disease prevalence statistics, and current consensus guidelines (2004-July 2011). Additional references were identified from the publications reviewed.
STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION
English-language articles on large multicenter trials were evaluated.
National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines for the reduction of cardiovascular risk recommend the attainment of specific low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) target values, based on an individual's 10-year risk of coronary heart disease or global risk. For most patients unable to achieve recommended lipid level goals with therapeutic lifestyle changes, statins are the first option for treatment. Results of large, well-controlled clinical trials have demonstrated that statins are effective in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in diverse populations, including patients with diabetes and the elderly, and that intensive statin therapy provides more effective lipid goal attainment and significantly greater risk reduction in patients with coronary artery disease. Statin therapy is generally well tolerated but may increase the risk of myopathy. Statin use has been associated with increases in hepatic transaminases and an increased risk of diabetes, although the absolute risk of diabetes is low compared with the risk reduction benefit. Combination therapy including a statin may be appropriate for certain populations, but the risk reduction benefits of combination therapy remain unclear. Ezetimibe is an important treatment option for patients with hypercholesterolemia who do not tolerate intensive statin therapy. Although fibrates or niacin improves overall lipid profiles in patients with hypertriglyceridemia or dyslipidemia who are receiving statin therapy, their efficacy in reducing cardiovascular risk remains questionable and their use raises safety and tolerability concerns.
Intensifying lifestyle changes and statin dose should be utilized first in patients not achieving their LDL-C and non-HDL-C goals.