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Dyslipidemia Management in Pregnancy: Why Is It not Covered in the Guidelines?

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Despite the elevation of lipid values during pregnancy is mostly physiological, evidence suggest that it may be associated with adverse events. This article reviews the characteristics of lipid disorders and the possible management with dyslipidemia in pregnant women.

Recent Findings

Among many available groups of lipid-lowering drugs, only bile acid sequestrants are approved for the treatment of dyslipidemia during pregnancy. Ezetimibe and fenofibrate might be considered if benefits outweigh the potential risk. Statins are still contraindicated due to the results mainly from animal studies and series of human cases. However, recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses showed that their use may not be detrimental, and in some selected cases may be beneficial. Especially, in some groups of pregnant patients with very high cardiovascular risk—those already after an event, or with established cardiovascular disease, with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia; in such cases the final decision should weight the potential risk of discontinuation of therapy. Finally, we need to wait for the data with new drugs, including PCSK9 inhibitors and especially inclisiran, which (still hypothetically) might be a very interesting option as it may be used just before the pregnancy and immediately after with the duration of about 9 months between injections.

Summary

The decisions on lipid-lowering therapy in pregnant patients should be individualized. Despite design and ethical difficulties with such studies, further investigations on dyslipidemia treatment during pregnancy are highly awaited.

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Lewek, J., Banach, M. Dyslipidemia Management in Pregnancy: Why Is It not Covered in the Guidelines?. Curr Atheroscler Rep 24, 547–556 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11883-022-01030-w

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Keywords

  • Dyslipidemia
  • Pregnancy
  • Bile acid sequestrants
  • Statins