Treating patients with low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol: choices, issues and opportunities

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    Three clinical trials have recently focused on the benefits of lipid-regulating therapy in populations with normocholesterolaemia and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol. Two secondary prevention studies (Veterans Affairs HDL-Cholesterol Intervention Trial [VA-HIT] and Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention [BIP] trial) testified to the efficacy of fibrates in decreasing cardiovascular events, particularly in patients with coexisting risk factors, including hypertriglyceridaemia. The Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (AFCAPS/TexCAPS) demonstrated that a statin could decrease acute coronary events in patients with isolated low HDL-cholesterol in a primary prevention setting. The absolute risk reduction in coronary events in the VA-HIT study compares favourably with those reported from the statin-based Cholesterol and Recurrent Events (CARE) and Long-term Intervention with Pravastatin in Ischaemic Disease (LIPID) trials. The absolute risk reduction in AFCAPS-TexCAPS is similar to that in West of Scotland Coronary Pravastatin Study (WOSCOPS). Recommendations are given concerning lifestyle and pharmacological management of low HDL-cholesterol. Optimal management also requires review of current treatment targets for HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)118-122
    Number of pages5
    JournalCurrent Controlled Trials in Cardiovascular Medicine
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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