Hyperlipoproteinaemia and dyslipoproteinaemia II. Therapy: Non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches

Authors: R. Češka;  S. Krutská;  L. Kašná;  G. Šmelková;  L. Zlatohlávek;  M. Vráblík
Authors‘ workplace: Centrum preventivní kardiologie III. interní kliniky 1. lékařské fakulty UK a VFN Praha, přednosta prof. MUDr. Štěpán Svačina, DrSc., MBA
Published in: Vnitř Lék 2010; 56(7): 647-654
Category: 80th Birthday - Jaroslava Blahoše, MD, DrSc.


At present, literally no one disputes hyperlipoproteinaemia and dyslipidemia (HLP and DLP) treatment as a rational therapeutic approach in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). This approach is in line with the current principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM) and is sufficiently evidenced particularly by the results of large intervention studies. Nevertheless! When the results of the recent studies are critically appraised, these by no means are (mostly, there, obviously, are exceptions) as conclusive as the studies conducted in 1980s and 1990s. Consequently, positive results are being sought in subanalyses, subgroup evaluations and multiple-study metaanalyses. This paper is not intended as a critique of new drugs. These certainly are developed to be safe, effective and well-tolerated. However, the newer studies suffer from a range of issues: the populations studied are already very well managed, it is not possible to compare against placebo and sometimes, let us be honest, the trial design itself is problematic (often it is an uncritical effort to treat as wide as possible range of patients as well as new groups of patients who might not be suitable for the given treatment). Certainly, we should not start disputing the well-evidenced hypotheses and seek alternatives to the long-established arguments and approaches as a consequence to some less convincing studies. We must not overlook the most robust results of statin studies as well as ‘positive’ studies with other hypolipidemics. There is no doubt that the effect of statins on LDL-cholesterol represents a significant move towards cardiovascular disease prevention. Despite this, we currently recognise with increased intensity that this very effective and well-evidenced treatment has its limits and that a high proportion of patients dies or are faced with cardiovascular diseases even though they are treated with a correct dose of a statin and a target LDL-C level is achieved. This remaining risk (represents more than 50% of events) has been termed ‘RESIDUAL RISK’. The issue of residual risk is crucial in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2T) or in all patients with HDL-C-low DLP. As was repeatedly emphasised, a statin will be a cornerstone of pharmacological treatment of a DLP. However, a question arises what to combine it with. The most convincing data exist for niacin (combination of niacin with laropiprant minimising the incidence of unwanted flushes). We surely should not marginalize other hypolipidemics used mainly in combinations: resin and ezetimibe to treat LDL-C, niacin, fibrates and possibly ω-3-fatty acids to manage the residual risk (HDL and TG). Last but not least we should not forget non-pharmacological treatment as the pivotal treatment approach in all patients.

Key words:
diet – statins – niacin – resin – ezetimibe - fibrates


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