Hyperlipidemia and Diabetes Mellitus

Mayo Clin Proc. 1998 Oct;73(10):969-76. doi: 10.4065/73.10.969.


The increased risk of coronary artery disease in subjects with diabetes mellitus can be partially explained by the lipoprotein abnormalities associated with diabetes mellitus. Hypertriglyceridemia and low levels of high-density lipoprotein are the most common lipid abnormalities. In type 1 diabetes mellitus, these abnormalities can usually be reversed with glycemic control. In contrast, in type 2 diabetes mellitus, although lipid values improve, abnormalities commonly persist even after optimal glycemic control has been achieved. Screening for dyslipidemia is recommended in subjects with diabetes mellitus. A goal of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol of less than 130 mg/dL and triglycerides lower than 200 mg/dL should be sought. Several secondary prevention trials, which included subjects with diabetes, have demonstrated the effectiveness of lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in preventing death from coronary artery disease. The benefit of lowering triglycerides is less clear. Initial approaches to lowering the levels of lipids in subjects with diabetes mellitus should include glycemic control, diet, weight loss, and exercise. When goals are not met, the most common drugs used are hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors or fibrates.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications*
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy
  • Lipids / blood
  • Mass Screening
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lipids