FDA Highlights: Fenofibrate reduces cardiovascular events in type-2 diabetes, especially for women

by Bruce Sylvester: Fenofibrate treatment reduces cardiovascular disease risks in persons with type-2 diabetes, especially women, researchers reported on August 18 in Diabetologia

In the FIELD (Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes) trial, 3657 women and 6138 men with type 2 diabetes were assigned a daily fenofibrate (200 mg/day) or placebo tablet for 5 years. The investigators analyzed effects on lipoproteins, total cardiovascular events and side-effects for each sex

Reporting the mortality results, investigator Dr. Anthony Keech, professor of medicine, cardiology and epidemiology, at the University of Sydney (Australia),  said, “The study shows that fenofibrate reduced the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, or having a stroke or other adverse cardiovascular event by 30 per cent in women and 13 per cent in men.”

The investigators also evaluated the effect of fenofibrate on a range of lipoproteins and triglycerides that contribute to cardiovascular events.

They reported that, for type-2 diabetic patients with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease (high levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol) fenofibrate reduced adverse cardiovascular events by 30 per cent in women and 24 per cent in men.

As background, the authors noted that fenofibrate acts by increasing  the activity of an enzyme that breaks down triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins, thus raising HDL cholesterol.

“Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in women, almost three times more common than breast cancer,” said the study’s lead author, associate professor Michael d’Emden, Royal Brisbane Hospital (Australia.)

“The finding is good news for women,” added Dr. Keech.