Management of dyslipidemia in IDDM patients

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25 Scopus citations


Patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) are at an increased risk for coronary heart disease. Factors that may enhance the risk include dyslipidemia, hypertension, and hyperglycemia. Until recently, the importance of dyslipidemia in IDDM was ignored because the prevalence of high cholesterol levels was similar to that in the nondiabetic population. However, unique abnormalities in the composition and metabolism of lipoproteins may occur in IDDM patients. Management of IDDM patients, therefore, should include control of dyslipidemia as well as control of hyperglycemia and hypertension. The therapeutic goals for serum cholesterol reduction in IDDM patients should be lower than that for nondiabetic patients, and the goals for children should be even lower than those for adults. Both very-low-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels should be the targets for therapeutic interventions and not just the LDL alone. Because of the unique features of dyslipidemia in IDDM patients, the therapeutic options may not be the same as that for nondiabetic patients. Hyperglycemia should be controlled by matching daily energy intake and activity with appropriately timed doses of insulin. The diets should be low in saturated fats and cholesterol. If dyslipidemia persists despite diet and hyperglycemia management, drug therapy may be initiated. For IDDM children ≥ 10 years of age with elevated LDL-cholesterol levels, the first-line therapy should be bile acid sequestrants. For adults with IDDM, bile acid sequestrants also may be the drugs of choice, particularly for normotriglyceridemic patients. Nicotinic acid therapy should be avoided. Among other drugs, hydroxymethyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors may be preferable for patients with elevated LDL cholesterol and borderline hypertriglyceridemia. Fibric acid derivatives should be used for markedly hypertriglyceridemic patients. The role of probucol for dyslipidemia in IDDM patients is not clear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-234
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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