An update on pharmacotherapies in diabetic dyslipidemia

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2019 Jul-Aug;62(4):334-341. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2019.07.006. Epub 2019 Aug 20.


Hyperlipidemia plays a crucial role in the underlying pathogenesis of multiple cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, carotid stenosis, and heart failure. The risk of developing such diseases in the diabetic population is relatively high. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an independent risk factor for premature atherosclerosis. The hallmark of DM dyslipidemia is a demonstrably high level of atherogenic triglyceride rich lipids including very low-density lipoprotein, chylomicrons, and small dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Moderate to high intensity statins, targeting LDL cholesterol reduction, remain the cornerstone in the management of this unique disorder. Many 'non-statin' drugs have recently been studied in the DM patients who were either on a 'maximally tolerated statin' or 'statin intolerant'. Ezetimibe and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors are particularly important and were incorporated in the recent guidelines by the European Society of Cardiology, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and American Diabetes Association. Icosapent Ethyl has garnered huge interest this year following publication of the REDUCE-IT trial. There are several newer hypolipidemic drugs, including Bempedoic acid, Inclisiran and RVX-208, that are in different phases of clinical trials. In this article, we review the underlying pathophysiology of DM dyslipidemia, existing guidelines related to its management, and the potential of newer hypolipidemic and anti-inflammatory drugs being incorporated in the management of DM.

Keywords: Alirocumab; Bempedoic acid; Evolocumab; Ezetimibe; FOURIER; Icosapent ethyl; Inclisiran; ODYSSEY.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Coronary Artery Disease / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology
  • Dyslipidemias / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology
  • Hyperlipidemias / physiopathology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Hypolipidemic Agents