Researchers Uncover Best Cholesterol Lowering Treatment For Type II Diabetes

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The VAP cholesterol test from Atherotech is helping physicians pinpoint the most effective cholesterol and heart disease risk lowering treatments in Type II diabetes patients, providing valuable and potentially lifesaving information to diabetics and the doctors who treat them.

Leveraging the expanded cholesterol profiling capabilities of the VAP test, researchers in the Diabetes and Combined Lipid Therapy Regimen (DIACOR) study found that combining statin therapy with a fibrate is the most effective way to correct an adverse cardiovascular risk profile in individuals with diabetes and mixed dyslipidemia (elevated LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels combined with decreased levels of HDL cholesterol).

The results of the 12-week, single center, double-blind, placebo-controlled study were recently published in American Journal of Cardiology. Researchers were able to use the VAP Test to measure the effects of simvastatin alone, fenofibrate alone and the combination of both on lipid subparticles in 300 patients (randomized) with Type II diabetes without existing heart disease.

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"Among diabetic patients with multiple lipid abnormalities, the combination therapy of a statin and a fibrate, not only was superior to either agent alone in improving the standard lipid markers of LDL (the bad cholesterol), HDL (the good cholesterol) and triglycerides, it was also superior in reducing a variety of the more atherogenic lipid profiles detectable through the use of the VAP assay," explained study coauthor Joseph B. Muhlestein, M.D. "Most importantly, it significantly lowered the overall density of a variety of atherogenic lipid particles and also reduced the levels of Lp(a), an especially hard to treat marker of cardiovascular risk. This information increases the likelihood that combination lipid therapy in this high risk population may provide significant long-term clinical benefit."

The VAP Test provides researchers and medical professionals with direct measurement of LDL, HDL and all relevant subclasses, emerging risk factors (such as Lp(a), LDL pattern, density and size) and precise calculations for LDL components.

"As we continue to learn more about cardiovascular risk associated with various lipid subfraction profiles, the value of the VAP assay is likely to become even more clinically relevant," noted Muhlestein.

Atherotech Chief Medical Officer James Ehrlich, M.D., said VAP technology has been used in more than 100 clinical trails and will continue to play an important role as a valuable analytical research tool.

"This type of research has never before been conducted for the diabetic population, and we're proud of the important role that the VAP test has played in this and other studies," said Ehrlich. "The identification of additional risk factors through the advanced lipid testing of the VAP Test gives physicians and clinicians the information they need to more accurately assess, manage and lower heart disease risk in Type II diabetes patients."

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