Hyperlipidemia is a common metabolic disorder and one of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Clinical studies have shown that hyperlipidemia increases the risk of non-ischemic heart failure, while decreasing serum lipids can reverse heart dysfunction. Apart from indirectly affecting the function of the heart by promoting the development of atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia also affects the systolic function and cardiac electrophysiological response of the heart directly, which may be related to gradual accumulation of cardiac lipids and consequent systemic oxidative stress, proinflammatory state and mitochondrial dysfunction. However, the mechanism underlying direct effects of hyperlipidemia on the heart are not fully understood. In this review, we provide an updated summary of recent experimental and clinical studies that focus on elucidating the mechanisms of the action of hyperlipidemia on cardiac function, the relationship between heart failure and serum lipids, and protective effects of lipid-lowering drugs on the heart. The exciting progress in this field supports the prospect of guiding early protection of the heart to benefit the patients with chronic hyperlipidemia and familial hyperlipidemia.
Keywords: Cardiac function; Heart failure; Hyperlipidemia; Lipid-lowering drug.