Fibrates Effect on Cardiovascular Risk Is Greater in Patients With High Triglyceride Levels or Atherogenic Dyslipidemia Profile: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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According to recently published data, fibrates may reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events. Whether patients with low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), high triglyceride levels, or both may have additional benefits remains under debate. We performed a meta-analysis of the 5 large trials assessing the impact of fibrates on cardiovascular end points and providing information on low HDL-C and high triglyceride levels. Subgroups were determined according to values closest to predetermined cut-offs for both HDL-C and triglycerides (<35 and >200 mg/dL, respectively). Overall, 4671 patients (2401 in fibrate group and 2270 in placebo group) were classified as having an atherogenic dyslipidemia featuring low HDL-C combined with high triglyceride levels. Across trials, the proportion of patients classified in this subgroup ranged from 11% to 33%. We found a significant difference in the magnitude of fibrate effect across dyslipidemia subgroups (P for between-group heterogeneity = 0.0002). A greater effect size was found in patients with high triglyceride levels or atherogenic dyslipidemia phenotype where fibrates were estimated to reduce the cardiovascular risk by 28% [95% confidence interval (CI), 15% to 39%; P < 0.001] or 30% (95% CI, 19% to 40%, P < 0.0001), respectively, but only by 6% (95% CI, −2% to 13%, P = 0.13) in nonatherogenic dyslipidemia patients. Targeting patients with high triglyceride levels or atherogenic dyslipidemia with fibrates may help reduce residual vascular risk.

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