Diabetic dyslipoproteinemia is characterized by hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL-cholesterol and often elevated LDL-cholesterol and is a strong risk factor for atherosclerosis. Adhesion molecule levels are elevated both in hyperlipoproteinemia and diabetes mellitus. It is unclear whether fibrate or statin therapy has more beneficial effects on adhesion molecule concentrations.
Atorvastatin (10 mg/d) was compared to fenofibrate (200 mg/d) each for 6 weeks separated by a 6 week washout period in 11 patients (6 male, 5 female; 61.8 ± 8.2 years; body mass index 29.8 ± 3.1 kg/m2) with type 2 diabetes mellitus (HbA1c 7.3 ± 1.1 %) and mixed hyperlipoproteinemia using a randomized, cross-over design. Fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, lipid parameters, E-selectin, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and fibrinogen concentrations were determined before and after each drug.
Glucose and HbA1c concentrations remained unchanged during the whole study period. LDL cholesterol was reduced during atorvastatin therapy, triglycerides were lowered more effectively with fenofibrate. Comparison of pre- and postreatment concentrations of E-selectin showed a reduction during atorvastatin (-7 %, p = 0.11) and fenofibrate (-10 %, p < 0.05) therapy. Atorvastatin treatment reduced VCAM-1 levels by 4% (p < 0.05), while VCAM-1 concentrations remained unchanged (+1%, ns) during fenofibate therapy. However, direct comparisons of post-treatment levels during both forms of therapy were not of statistical significance. ICAM-1 levels were not influenced by either form of therapy.
In addition to the different beneficial effects on lipid metabolism, both drugs appear to lower adhesion molecule plasma concentrations in a different manner in patients with type 2 diabetes and mixed hyperlipoproteinemia. Our observations should be confirmed in a larger cohort of such patients.