Interest of statins in terms of morbid-mortality reduction in primary and secondary prevention in type 2 diabetic patients has broadly been proven in recent studies, while evidence for fibrates preventive effect is considerably weaker. HMGCoA reductase inhibitors are known to decrease low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL C) in a greater extension than triglycerides (TG). In type 2 diabetic patients, the dyslipidemic profile is commonly associated with reduced high-density lipoproteins (HDL C), increased TG and normal or mildly elevated LDL C.
Type 2 diabetic outpatients (n=45) treated with fibrate with or without history of cardiovascular disease were included. Mean age was 57.7+/-13.2 yr, sex ratio was 16/39 (F/M), and BMI was 29.3+/-4.4 kg/m(2). Non-inclusion criteria were TG>or=3.5 g/L and intolerance to statins or a combined lowering lipid therapy. Serum lipid profile, HbA(1c) and creatin kinase (CK) were assessed under treatment with fibrate, then after a 3-month wash-out period, and after a 6-month treatment with a low dose of atorvastatin (10 mg/day).
After a 3-month wash-out period, total cholesterol (TC) was 1.98+/-0.31 g/L (m+/-SD), TG 1.63+/-1.09 g/L, HDL C 0.46+/-0.12 g/L, and LDL C 1.22+/-0.31 g/L. Comparing lipid profile with atorvastatin vs fibrate, we observed a significant decrease in TC and LDL C (1.56 vs 1.79 g/L P=0.001, and 0.84 vs 1.09 g/L, P=0.001, respectively). No significant difference between treatments was observed for TG (1.35 vs 1.17 g/L, P=0.06), and HDL C (0.44 vs 0.48 g/L, P=0.15). When treated with atorvastatin, 90% of patients achieved a LDL C<1 g/L, compared to 51% when treated with fibrate (P=0.001). HbA(1c) remained about 7.6+/-1.5%, and CK in the normal range.
In well-controlled type 2 diabetic patients previously treated with fibrate, short-term (6 months) treatment with low-dose atorvastatin (10 mg/day) improves TC and LDL C levels, without any alteration in TG and HDL C levels.