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1.  Which is the best lipid-modifying strategy in metabolic syndrome and diabetes: fibrates, statins or both? 
Although less clinical intervention studies have been performed with fibrates than with statins, there are evidences indicating that fibrates may reduce risk of cardiovascular events. The potential clinical benefit of the fenofibrate will be specified by the ongoing Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study, which rationale, methods and aims have been just published.
Controlled clinical trials show similar or even greater cardiovascular benefits from statins-based therapy in patient subgroups with diabetes compared with overall study populations. Therefore, statins are the drug of first choice for aggressive lipid lowering actions and reducing risk of coronary artery disease in these patients. However, current therapeutic use of statins as monotherapy is still leaving many patients with mixed atherogenic dyslipidemia at high risk for coronary events. A combination statin/fibrate therapy may be often necessary to control all lipid abnormalities in patients with metabolic syndrome and diabetes adequately, since fibrates provide additional important benefits, particularly on triglyceride and HDL-cholesterol levels. Thus, this combined therapy concentrates on all the components of the mixed dyslipidemia that often occurs in persons with diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and may be expected to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Safety concerns about some fibrates such as gemfibrozil may lead to exaggerate precautions regarding fibrate administration and therefore diminish the use of the seagents. However, other fibrates, such as bezafibrate and fenofibrate appear to be safer and better tolerated. We believe that a proper co-administration of statins and fibrates, selected on basis of their safety, could be more effective in achieving a comprehensive lipid control as compared with monotherapy.
PMCID: PMC538252  PMID: 15574199
Diabetes mellitus; Dyslipidemia; Fibrates; Metabolic syndrome; Statins
2.  The need for a large-scale trial of fibrate therapy in diabetes: the rationale and design of the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study. [ISRCTN64783481] 
Fibrates correct the typical lipid abnormalities of type 2 diabetes mellitus, yet no study, to date, has specifically set out to evaluate the role of fibrate therapy in preventing cardiovascular events in this setting.
Subjects with type 2 diabetes, aged 50–75 years, were screened for eligibility to participate in a long-term trial of comicronized fenofibrate 200 mg daily compared with matching placebo to assess benefits of treatment on the occurrence of coronary and other vascular events. People with total cholesterol levels 3.0–6.5 mmol/L plus either a total-to-HDLc ratio >4.0 or triglyceride level >1.0 mmol/L with no clear indication for lipid-modifying therapy were eligible.
A total of 9795 people were randomized into the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) trial. All received dietary advice, followed by a 6-week single-blind placebo run-in, then a 6-week active run-in period before randomization. Participants are being followed up every 6 months for outcome events and safety assessments. The study is designed to yield at least 500 coronary events (primary endpoint: first nonfatal myocardial infarction or coronary death) over 5 years, to have 80% power to identify as statistically significant at 2P = 0.05 a 22% reduction in such events, using intention-to-treat methods.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder worldwide, and its prevalence is increasing. The current evidence about use of fibrates in type 2 diabetes, from around 2000 people treated, will increase with FIELD to evidence from around 12000. FIELD will establish the role of fenofibrate treatment in reducing cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes. The main results are expected to be available in late 2005.
PMCID: PMC1129022  PMID: 15571637
diabetes mellitus, type 2; fibrate; cardiovascular disease; randomized controlled trial; coronary heart disease
3.  Ciprofibrate therapy in patients with hypertriglyceridemia and low high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol: greater reduction of non-HDL cholesterol in subjects with excess body weight (The CIPROAMLAT study) 
Hypertriglyceridemia in combination with low HDL cholesterol levels is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy of ciprofibrate for the treatment of this form of dyslipidemia and to identify factors associated with better treatment response.
Multicenter, international, open-label study. Four hundred and thirty seven patients were included. The plasma lipid levels at inclusion were fasting triglyceride concentrations between 1.6–3.9 mM/l and HDL cholesterol ≤ 1.05 mM/l for women and ≤ 0.9 mM/l for men. The LDL cholesterol was below 4.2 mM/l. All patients received ciprofibrate 100 mg/d. Efficacy and safety parameters were assessed at baseline and at the end of the treatment. The primary efficacy parameter of the study was percentage change in triglycerides from baseline.
After 4 months, plasma triglyceride concentrations were decreased by 44% (p < 0.001). HDL cholesterol concentrations were increased by 10% (p < 0.001). Non-HDL cholesterol was decreased by 19%. A greater HDL cholesterol response was observed in lean patients (body mass index < 25 kg/m2) compared to the rest of the population (8.2 vs 19.7%, p < 0.001). In contrast, cases with excess body weight had a larger decrease in non-HDL cholesterol levels (-20.8 vs -10.8%, p < 0.001). There were no significant complications resulting from treatment with ciprofibrate.
Ciprofibrate is efficacious for the correction of hypertriglyceridemia / low HDL cholesterol. A greater decrease in non-HDL cholesterol was found among cases with excess body weight. The mechanism of action of ciprofibrate may be influenced by the pathophysiology of the disorder being treated.
PMCID: PMC503398  PMID: 15272932
Ciprofibrate; obesity; HDL cholesterol; triglycerides; fibrates
4.  Plasma matrix metalloproteinases, low density lipoprotein oxidisability and soluble adhesion molecules after a glucose load in Type 2 diabetes 
Acute hyperglycaemia is an independent cardiovascular risk factor in Type 2 diabetes which may be mediated through increased oxidative damage to plasma low density lipoprotein, and in vitro, high glucose concentrations promote proatherogenic adhesion molecule expression and matrix metalloproteinase expression.
We examined these atherogenic risk markers in 21 subjects with Type 2 diabetes and 20 controls during an oral 75 g glucose tolerance test. Plasma soluble adhesion molecule concentrations [E-selectin, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1], plasma matrix metalloproteinases [MMP-3 and 9] and plasma LDL oxidisability were measured at 30 minute intervals.
In the diabetes group, the concentrations of all plasma soluble adhesion molecules fell promptly [all p < 0.0001] related principally to glycaemic excursions, but such changes also occurred in the control group. Plasma MMP-3 and -9 concentrations were lower [p < 0.05], and LDL oxidisability greater [p < 0.01] in the diabetes group but did not change in either group. There was a direct relationship between plasma MMP-9 and s ICAM-1 in the controls [r = 0.62; p = 0.006] perhaps suggesting a functional relationship between s ICAM-1 shedding and MMP-9.
A glucose load leads to a rapid fall in plasma soluble adhesion molecule concentrations in Type 2 diabetes and controls, perhaps reflecting reduced generation of soluble from membrane forms during enhanced leukocyte – endothelial adhesion or increased hepatic clearance, without changes in plasma matrix metalloproteinase concentrations or low density lipoprotein oxidisability. These in vivo findings are in contrast with in vitro data.
PMCID: PMC441397  PMID: 15207013
5.  Arterial heparan sulfate is negatively associated with hyperglycemia and atherosclerosis in diabetic monkeys 
Arterial proteoglycans are implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by their ability to trap plasma lipoproteins in the arterial wall and by their influence on cellular migration, adhesion and proliferation. In addition, data have suggested an anti-atherogenic role for heparan sulfate proteoglycans and a pro-atherogenic role for dermatan sulfate proteoglycans. Using a non-human primate model for human diabetes, studies examined diabetes-induced changes in arterial proteoglycans that may increase susceptibility to atherosclerosis.
Control (n = 7) and streptozotocin-induced diabetic (n = 8) cynomolgous monkeys were assessed for hyperglycemia by measurement of plasma glycated hemoglobin (GHb). Thoracic aortas obtained at necropsy, were extracted with 4 M guanidine HCL and proteoglycans were measured as hexuronic acid. Atherosclerosis was measured by enzymatic analysis of extracted tissue cholesterol. Glycosaminoglycan chains of arterial proteoglycans were released with papain, separated by agarose electrophoresis and analysed by scanning densitometry.
Tissue cholesterol was positively associated with hexuronic acid content in diabetic arteries (r = .82, p < .025) but not in control arteries. Glycosaminoglycan chain analysis demonstrated that dermatan sulfate was associated with increased tissue cholesterol in both control (r = .8, p < 0.05) and diabetic (r = .8, p < .025) arteries, whereas a negative relationship was observed between heparan sulfate and tissue cholesterol in diabetic arteries only (r = -.7, p < .05). GHb, which was significantly higher in diabetic animals (8.2 ± 0.9 vs 3.8 ± 0.2%, p < .0005) was negatively associated with heparan sulfate in diabetic arteries (r = -.7, p < .05).
These data implicate hyperglycemia induced modifications in arterial proteoglycans that may promote atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC421734  PMID: 15117408
glycosaminoglycans; proteoglycans; arteries; atherosclerosis; diabetes; hyperglycemia.
6.  Metabolic and cardiovascular improvements after biliopancreatic diversion in a severely obese patient 
Severe obesity is associated with important morbidity and increased mortality. The successes of lifestyle modifications and drug therapy have been partial and mostly unsustained in reducing obesity and its comorbidities. Bariatric surgery, particularly biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch reduces efficiently excess body weight and improves metabolic and cardiovascular functions.
Case presentation
A 56-year-old man with severe clinical obesity underwent a biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch after unsuccessful treatment with weight loss pharmacotherapy. He had diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea syndrome and was on three medications for hypertension and two hypoglycemic agents in addition to > 200 insulin units daily. Eleven months after the surgery, he had lost 40% of his body weight. The lipid profile showed great improvement and the hypertension and diabetes were more easily controlled with no more insulin needed. The pseudonormalized pattern of left ventricular diastolic function improved and ventricular walls showed decreased thickness.
Biliopancreatic diversion may bring metabolic and cardiovascular benefits in severely obese patients from a cardiovascular perspective.
PMCID: PMC416487  PMID: 15113416
Biliopancreatic diversion; obesity; cardiology; diastolic function
7.  Neurohumoral stimulation in type-2-diabetes as an emerging disease concept 
Neurohumoral stimulation comprising both autonomic-nervous-system dysfunction and activation of hormonal systems including the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) was found to be associated with Type-2-diabetes (T2D). Therapeutic strategies such as RAAS interference proved to be beneficial in both T2D treatment and prevention. In addition to an activated RAAS, hyperleptinemia in obesity, hyperinsulinemia in conditions of peripheral insulin resistance and overall oxidative stress in T2D represent known activators of the sympathetic component of the autonomic nervous system. Here, we hypothesize that sympathetic activation may cause peripheral insulin resistance defined as partial blocking of insulin effects on glucose uptake. Resulting hyperinsulinemia or hyperglycemia-related oxidative stress may further aggravate sympatho-excitation. This notion leads to a secondary hypothesis: sympathetic activation worsens from obesity towards insulin resistance, and further towards T2D. In this review, existing evidence relating to neurohumoral stimulation in T2D and consequences thereof, such as oxidative stress and inflammation, are discussed. The aim of this review is to provide a rationale for therapies, which are able to intercept neuroendocrine pathways in T2D and precursor states such as obesity.
PMCID: PMC406517  PMID: 15028121
diabetes mellitus; sympathetic nervous system; hormones; oxidative stress; inflammation
8.  Cardiovascular adaptations to exercise training in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM-2) is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases of the aged and contributes to a significant amount of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Exercise training may be beneficial in attenuating the cardiovascular maladaptations associated with DM-2. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of exercise training on left ventricular (LV) and vascular function in a sample of postmenopausal women with DM-2.
Twenty-eight postmenopausal women with DM-2 (age: 59 ± 7 yrs) were assigned to either an exercise training (ET) (n = 17) or control group (CT) (n = 7). Cardiorespiratory fitness (), LV filling dynamics and arterial compliance were assessed at baseline in all participants. The ET group performed a supervised aerobic and resistance training intervention three days per week for a period of 10 weeks, while the CT group continued normal activities of daily living.
Body mass index, , age and duration of diabetes were similar between the ET and CT groups at baseline. (21.3 ± 3.3 to 24.5 ± 4.2 ml·kg-1·min-1, p < 0.05) and large artery compliance (1.0 ± 0.4 to 1.2 ± 0.4 mL·mmHg-1, p < 0.05), increased significantly in the ET group following training despite no change in LV filling dynamics, blood pressure, lipid profile or insulin sensitivity. All variables remained unchanged in the CT group.
Exercise training improves large artery compliance and cardiorespiratory fitness in postmenopausal women with DM-2, without any appreciable changes in LV filling dynamics or conventional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC400749  PMID: 15023235
arterial compliance; left ventricular function; resistance training; cardiovascular disease
9.  An interaction between the interleukin-6 -174G>C gene variant and urinary protein excretion influences plasma oxidative stress in subjects with type 2 diabetes 
Microalbuminuria and subsequent progression to proteinuria and nephropathy is associated with increased oxidative stress, increased inflammatory cytokines and increased cardiovascular (CVD) risk. The common functional IL-6 -174G>C gene variant is also associated with elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines and CVD risk.
The aim of this study was to examine the association between the IL-6 -174G>C gene variant with plasma total antioxidant status (TAOS) in 552 subjects with type 2 diabetes in relation to urinary protein excretion.
In subjects free from CVD, there was a significant interaction between urinary protein excretion (normoalbuminuria/ microalbuminuria/proteinuria) and the -174C allele (compared to -174GG) in determining plasma TAOS (p value for interaction = 0.03). In the -174C allele carriers there was a significant association between plasma TAOS and urinary protein excretion: normalbuminuria v microalbuminuria v proteinuria: 44.30% ± 11.32 vs. 39.74% ± 14.83 vs. 37.93% ± 16.42, ANOVA p = 0.025. In those with CVD, no interaction or association was observed with the -174C allele (p = 0.246).
The IL-6 -174G>C gene variant is associated with differences in plasma oxidative stress in response to altered protein excretion in subjects with type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC375540  PMID: 14992698
Interleukin-6; gene variant; diabetes; proteinuria; oxidative stress
10.  Vasa vasorum in plaque angiogenesis, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and atheroscleropathy: a malignant transformation 
Vascularization is an exciting and complex mechanism involving angiogenesis and arteriogenesis. The metabolic syndrome (MS) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are associated with multiple metabolic toxicities, which result in reactive oxygen species (ROS) due to an elevated tension of oxidative-redox stress and an accelerated atherosclerosis termed atheroscleropathy.
This atheroscleropathy is associated with accelerated angiogenesis within the vulnerable, thin-cap fibro-atheroma, prone to rupture resulting in acute coronary syndromes (ACS). The resulting intimopathy with its neovascularization due to angiogenesis of the adventitial vasa vasorum (Vv) is prone to intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH). These IPH are associated with destabilization of the vulnerable plaques resulting in plaque erosion and plaque rupture resulting in ACS. In atheroscleropathy the adventitial Vv invades the plaque in a malignant-like fashion and concurrently is associated with chronic inflammation, as macrophages are being deposited within the shoulder regions of these vulnerable plaques. These angiogenic Vv provide a custom delivery vascular network for multiple detrimental substrates, which further accelerates the growth of these vulnerable plaques and atheroscleropathy. There exists a vascularization paradox in MS and T2DM, in that, angiogenesis within the plaque is induced and arteriogenesis is impaired.
This review will attempt to provide a database of knowledge regarding the vascularization process (angiogenesis and arteriogenesis) and its mechanisms to better understand the increased cardiovascular risk and the increased morbidity and mortality associated with MS and T2DM.
PMCID: PMC356925  PMID: 14761253
Arteriogenesis; eNOS; nitric oxide (eNO); reactive oxygen species (ROS); reactive nitrogen species (RNS); reactive thiol species (RTS)

Results 1-10 (10)