Long-term treatment with fenofibrate, a type of fibrate drug often used to lower cholesterol, does not reduce coronary plaques or signs of “atherosclerosis” in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a published report.
Prior research has suggested that fibrate therapy can have beneficial cardiovascular effects. However, in the main analysis of the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study, researchers found that treatment with fenofibrate did not reduce heart attacks in type 2 diabetics.
The focus of this FIELD substudy was to determine if fenofibrate therapy reduced atherosclerosis, a main risk factor for heart attacks, in patients with type 2 diabetes. Included were 170 patients randomly assigned to receive fenofibrate or inactive “placebo” for 5 years.
Dr. Anne Hiukka at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues report that during follow-up, atherosclerosis progressed to a similar extent in each group.
In a related editorial, Dr. Evan A. Stein, from the Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, comments that these substudy results, combined with main FIELD findings, suggest that fenofibrate treatment offers little heart benefits to diabetic patients.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology, December 16/23rd issue, 2008.