Metabolic Dyslipidemia and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Findings From the Look AHEAD Study

J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 Apr 6;10(7):e016947. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.016947. Epub 2021 Mar 17.


Background Metabolic dyslipidemia (high triglyceride) and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) is highly prevalent in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The extent to which diabetes mellitus-related abnormalities in the triglyceride-HDL-C profile associates with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is incompletely understood. We evaluated the associations of triglyceride and HDL-C status with CVD outcomes in individuals with T2DM. Methods and Results We analyzed data from 4199 overweight/obese adults with T2DM free of CVD with available data on triglyceride and HDL-C at baseline (2001-2004) in the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) study. We used Cox proportional models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs of: (1) composite CVD outcome (myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for angina, and/or death from cardiovascular causes); (2) coronary artery disease events; and (3) cerebrovascular accidents (stroke). Of the 4199 participants, 62% (n=2600) were women, with a mean age of 58 years (SD, 7), and 40% (n=1659) had metabolic dyslipidemia at baseline. Over a median follow-up of 9.5 years (interquartile range, 8.7-10.3), 500 participants experienced the composite CVD outcome, 396 experienced coronary artery disease events, and 100 experienced stroke. Low HDL-C was associated with higher hazards of the composite CVD outcome (HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.12-1.64 [P=0.002]) and coronary artery disease events (HR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.18-1.81 [P=0.001]) but not stroke (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 0.90-2.11 [P=0.140]). Compared with patients with normal triglyceride and normal HDL, participants with metabolic dyslipidemia had higher risks of the composite CVD outcome (HR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.03-1.63 [P=0.025]) and coronary artery disease events (HR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.14-1.93 [P=0.003]) but not stroke (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 0.74-2.05 [P=0.420]). Conclusions In a large sample of overweight/obese individuals with T2DM, metabolic dyslipidemia was associated with higher risks of CVD outcomes. Our findings highlight the necessity to account for metabolic dyslipidemia in CVD risk stratification among patients with T2DM. Registration URL:; Unique identifier: NCT00017953.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; diabetes mellitus; metabolic dyslipidemia; type 2.

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