Dyslipidaemia is a common problem in people with diabetes. Quantitative and qualitative changes in lipoproteins are thought to contribute to cardiovascular and microvascular complications. Lipid-lowering drugs, such as statins and fibrates, are therefore often required to achieve the recommended lipid levels.
- Dyslipidaemia is associated with, and predictive of, atherosclerotic events, as well as diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Lipid levels should be checked regularly in people with diabetes and any adverse lifestyle factors or concurrent medical conditions treated.
- Lifestyle interventions for improving lipid levels and decreasing cardiovascular risk in people with diabetes include a healthy diet and weight loss (ideally supported by a dietitian), smoking cessation and increased exercise if appropriate.
- Use of lipid-lowering drugs, in particular statins (for LDL-cholesterol control) and fibrates (for triglyceride control), are often required to achieve the recommended lipid levels.
- Repeated biochemical assessments and counselling are desirable to ensure safe and effective long-term adherence to a lipid control regimen that will reduce the cardiovascular risk in people with diabetes.