Controlling lipid levels in diabetes

Acta Diabetol. 2002 Jun;39 Suppl 2:S29-34. doi: 10.1007/s005920200023.


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is associated with a 2- to 4-times greater risk of morbidity and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes than in non-diabetic individuals. Dyslipidaemia is an important CHD risk factor in diabetic patients. The key atherogenic features of diabetic dyslipidaemia are elevated levels of serum triglycerides, low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and the preponderance of small, dense low density lipoprotein (LDL). As a result, treatment guidelines for diabetic dyslipidaemia recommend elevated LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol levels as targets of therapy. Unfortunately, however, these lipid abnormalities often persist despite best efforts to control hyperglycaemia, improve diet, and increase physical exercise, and therefore demand specific therapeutic intervention. Statins are the first choice for LDL cholesterol lowering as they are effective and well tolerated, and do not have adverse effects on glycaemic control. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that statins may also be employed to treat moderately elevated levels of triglycerides. An increasing number of primary and secondary prevention trials have shown that lipid-lowering therapy with statins can significantly reduce the risk of CHD events in patients with diabetic dyslipidaemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Risk Factors


  • Lipids