Combination drug therapy for dyslipidemia
- Cite this article as:
- Alaswad, K., O’Keefe, J.H. & Moe, R.M. Curr Atheroscler Rep (1999) 1: 44. doi:10.1007/s11883-999-0049-z
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Effective treatment of dyslipidemia improves prognosis. Statin therapy has been documented to decrease the cardiovascular event rate in the setting of elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease, but most patients are not treated to the target (LDL ≤100 mg/dL) set by the National Cholesterol Education Program. The triglyceride level is also being increasingly recognized as an important mediator in the process of progressive atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events. Studies suggest the target level for triglycerides should be the same as for LDL cholesterol levels— no more than 100 mg/dL. In order to achieve these LDL and triglyceride levels, combination therapy is required frequently. Probably the most effective combination for mixed dyslipidemia is a statin with niacin. The use of adjunctive omega-3 supplementation also should be considered especially for patients with elevated triglyceride levels. Other adjunctive agents including sitostanol ester (in the form of a margarine) and a well-tolerated second generation bile acid sequestrant that will lower LDL cholesterol an additional 10% to 18% and will be available soon.