Blood lipids in 75,048 type 2 diabetic patients: a population-based survey from the Swedish National diabetes register

Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2011 Feb;18(1):97-105. doi: 10.1097/HJR.0b013e32833ba61e.


Background: Type 2 diabetes and diabetic dyslipidemia are high-risk conditions for cardiovascular disease. However, the description of the distribution of blood lipids in diabetic patients has not been based on population-based surveys. The aim of this study was to describe diabetic dyslipidemia in a large unselected sample of patients from the Swedish National Diabetes Register.

Methods: Blood lipid profiles and clinical characteristics in 75,048 type 2 diabetic patients (57% men) were studied.

Results: Pronounced hypertriglyceridemia (triglycerides >4.0mmol/l) was seen in 3.4% of the patients. Total cholesterol (TC), LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) and non-HDL-C were generally higher, and LDL-C/HDL-C and Non-HDL-C/HDL-C ratios were lower in women. Mean TC, LDL-C as well as HDL-C values were lower in patients treated with lipid-lowering agents, whereas triglycerides was higher than in the untreated patients. In patients not treated with lipid-lowering agents all blood lipids increased in women and decreased in men (except HDL-C) at higher ages. Patients with LDL-C/HDL-C ratio ≥ 3 were slightly younger, less frequently used lipid-lowering drugs and had not so often a history of coronary heart disease or stroke.

Conclusion: The distribution of blood lipids in this large sample of unselected type 2 diabetic patients challenges the previous conception of diabetic dyslipidemia, and calls for new studies to explain the roles of LDL-C and HDL-C as strong cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Dyslipidemias / blood*
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides