Recently, considerable progress has been made in understanding the genetic basis of dyslipidemias and in studying the safety and efficacy of lipid-lowering drugs for coronary heart disease (CHD) prevention. Novel loci have been identified for monogenic hypercholesterolemia, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor (LDLR)-associated protein, proprotein convertase subtilisin-like kexin type 9, and ATP-binding cassette transporters ABCG5 and ABCG8. LDLR-associated protein promotes clustering of LDLRs into clathrin-coated pits for LDL uptake; proprotein convertase subtilisin-like kexin type 9 is involved in LDLR degradation; and ABCG5 and 8 pump sterols out of the hepatic and intestinal cells into bile and intestinal lumen, respectively. A novel gene encoding apolipoprotein AV, an activator of lipoprotein lipase, has also been linked to familial hypertriglyceridemia. Linkage of familial combined hyperlipidemia to upstream stimulatory factor 1 remains controversial. Recent guidelines of the Adult Treatment Panel III emphasize intensive reduction of LDL or non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in patients at high risk of CHD. However, of the four recently concluded trials comparing high-vs. low-dose statin therapy, only two showed an unequivocal reduction in cardiovascular endpoints. Because intensive statin therapy can increase the risk of myopathy and hepatotoxicity, it is important to consider its risk-benefit ratio in individual patients. Restriction of dietary saturated and trans-fat and cholesterol, along with increased intake of soluble fiber, can also achieve substantial LDL cholesterol lowering. Fibrates may reduce the risk of acute pancreatitis in severely hypertriglyceridemic patients and may be beneficial for CHD prevention. However, the safety and efficacy of combined therapy of fibrates and statins needs to be established.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical