Objectives: The primary objective was to determine the effect of statin-fibrate combination therapy on inflammatory biomarkers in patients with diabetes.
Background: Atherosclerosis is a long-term, chronic inflammatory disease that is exacerbated in patients with diabetes.
Methods: Patients (n = 300) with type II diabetes, mixed dyslipidemia (2 or more of low-density lipoprotein > or =100 mg/dl, triglycerides > or =200 mg/dl, or high-density lipoprotein <40 mg/dl), and no history of coronary heart disease were randomly assigned to receive simvastatin 20 mg, fenofibrate 160 mg, or a combination of simvastatin 20 mg and fenofibrate 160 mg daily. At 12 weeks after randomization, we measured levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA(2)).
Results: At 12 weeks, median hsCRP was significantly reduced (-14.6%, p = 0.004) from baseline, but the effect did not differ between treatments. The effect was greatest among patients with baseline hsCRP levels >2.0 mg/l (fenofibrate = -18.9%, p = 0.002 vs. baseline; simvastatin = -24.8%, p < 0.0001; combination = -27.3%, p = 0.002). Likewise, median Lp-PLA(2) levels in the overall study population were significantly reduced (-16.8%, p < 0.0001), and the effect did not differ among treatments. This effect also was greatest among patients with increased baseline levels of Lp-PLA(2) greater than the median of 320.9 ng/ml (fenofibrate = -41.3%, p < 0.0001; simvastatin = -47.5%, p < 0.0001; combination = -46.8%, p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Simvastatin, fenofibrate, and combination therapy each lowered hsCRP and Lp-PLA(2). These anti-inflammatory effects were most pronounced among patients with increased baseline levels. Combination therapy was no more effective than either form of monotherapy. (The DIACOR Study; http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00309712?order=1).