Persistent lipid abnormalities in statin-treated patients with diabetes mellitus in Europe and Canada: results of the Dyslipidaemia International Study


Dr Lawrence A. Leiter, St Michael’s Hospital, 61 Queen Street East, Room 6121Q, Toronto, ON M5C 2T2, Canada. E-mail:


Diabet. Med. 28, 1343–1351 (2011)


Aim  To assess the prevalence of persistent lipid abnormalities in statin-treated patients with diabetes with and without the metabolic syndrome.

Methods  This was a cross-sectional study of 22 063 statin-treated outpatients consecutively recruited by clinicians in Canada and 11 European countries. Patient cardiovascular risk factors, risk level, lipid measurements and lipid-modifying medication regimens were recorded.

Results  Of the 20 129 subjects who had documented diabetes and/or metabolic syndrome status, 41% had diabetes (of whom 86.8% also had the metabolic syndrome). Of those with diabetes, 48.1% were not at total cholesterol target compared with 58% of those without diabetes. Amongst those with diabetes, 41.6 and 41.3% of those with and without the metabolic syndrome, respectively, were not at their LDL cholesterol goal relative to 54.2% of those with metabolic syndrome and without diabetes, and 52% of those with neither condition. Twenty per cent of people with diabetes but without the metabolic syndrome were not at the optimal HDL cholesterol level compared with 9% of those with neither condition. Of people with diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, 49.9% were not at optimal triglyceride level relative to 13.5% of people with neither diabetes nor the metabolic syndrome. Simvastatin was the most commonly prescribed statin (> 45%) and the most common statin potency was 20–40 mg/day (simvastatin equivalent). Approximately 14% of patients were taking ezetimibe alone or in combination with a statin.

Conclusions  Despite evidence supporting the benefits of lipid modification and international guideline recommendations, statin-treated patients with diabetes had a high prevalence of persistent lipid abnormalities. There is frequently room to optimize therapy through statin dose up-titration and/or addition of other lipid-modifying therapies.