Dyslipidaemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus: bad for the heart

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with increased coronary heart disease (CHD) morbidity and mortality. These patients are also more prone to heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Furthermore, coronary interventions performed in such high-risk patients have worse outcomes. In this narrative review, we discuss the role of diabetic dyslipidaemia on the risk of CHD in patients with T2DM. The effects of hypolipidaemic, antihypertensive and antidiabetic drugs on lipid and glucose metabolism in T2DM are also considered.

Recent findings

Among CHD risk factors, diabetic dyslipidaemia characterized by moderately elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, increased triglycerides and small, dense LDL particles as well as decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels may contribute to the increased CHD risk associated with T2DM. Hypolipidaemic, antihypertensive and antidiabetic drugs can affect lipid and glucose parameters thus potentially influencing CHD risk. Such drugs may improve not only the quantity, but also the quality of LDL as well as postprandial lipaemia.

Summary

Current data highlight the importance of treating diabetic dyslipidaemia in order to minimize CHD risk. Both fasting and postprandial lipids are influenced by drugs in patients with T2DM; physicians should take this into consideration in clinical decision making.

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