Patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus have an increased incidence of coronary artery disease which may, in part, be associated with abnormalities in plasma lipids. In a double-blind, parallel, randomized study, lovastatin and gemfibrozil were compared in 102 diabetic patients with primary hypercholesterolemia; two-thirds of the patients were treated with oral hypoglycemic agents and one-third received diet therapy alone for their diabetes. Mean pretreatment total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol values were 273 and 193 mg/dl, respectively. Lovastatin significantly reduced total, LDL and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (20, 26 and 28%, respectively) and raised high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (14%). Gemfibrozil significantly reduced triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (36 and 41%, respectively) and, to a lesser extent, total cholesterol (9%); it also increased HDL cholesterol (21%). Lovastatin therapy was not associated with a significant change in triglycerides, and gemfibrozil did not significantly lower LDL cholesterol. The decrease in the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol tended to be greater with lovastatin than with gemfibrozil (26.5 and 20.4%, respectively; p = 0.053). Changes in lipid profiles with both agents were of a degree similar to those reported in nondiabetic patients. Neither agent had a clinically important effect on fasting glucose or hemoglobin A1c. Both drugs were well tolerated with the exception of 2 patients treated with gemfibrozil who developed symptoms of cholecystitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine