Given evidence of increasing prevalence in developed and developing countries, as a result of obesity trends and sedentary lifestyles, the metabolic syndrome represents an increasing burden on healthcare systems. Management guidelines for dyslipidaemia have primarily focused on LDL-C reduction; however, this approach fails to sufficiently address other lipid abnormalities associated with the metabolic syndrome. Atherogenic dyslipidaemia (characterized by elevated triglycerides and low HDL-C) is strongly associated with insulin-resistant states, such as type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, and is also a common finding among patients receiving treatment for dyslipidaemia. Intervening against atherogenic dyslipidaemia may address a substantial modifiable fraction of residual cardiovascular risk that remains after treatment with a statin. Recent findings from the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study support this view. Fenofibrate treatment was shown to be especially effective in treating marked atherogenic dyslipidaemia, with a significant 27% relative risk reduction for cardiovascular events (P=0.0005, vs. 11%, P=0.035 for all patients) relative to placebo. These data, together with the earlier demonstration of significant microvascular benefits associated with this treatment, suggest a role for fenofibrate, in addition to statin therapy and lifestyle intervention, for reducing global vascular risk in type 2 diabetes patients and for impacting atherogenic dyslipidaemia associated with the metabolic syndrome.
Keywords: Metabolic syndrome; PPARα agonists; cardiovascular risk; fenofibrate; type 2 diabetes..