Blood-fat lowering drug fenofibrate is beneficial for women with type 2 diabetes, according to new research.
Investigators in Australia, New Zealand and Finland found that the lipid drug, which has been available since the mid-1970s, is just as effective in treating people of both genders with the long term condition.
“Both sexes with type 2 diabetes should be considered for fenofibrate therapy for cardioprotection”
Previous studies, notably a recent trial in the US, have suggested that fenofibrate is not beneficial to some women.
The new research, however, reveals that the drug actually reduces levels of adverse blood fats, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), non-high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and apolipoprotein B more in women than in men.
This was the case independent of menopausal status and whether or not the women had also started taking statins.
Fenofibrate also reduces the risk of a cardiovascular outcome (cardiovascular death, fatal and non-fatal stroke and carotid and coronary revascularisation) by a greater amount in women than men − 30% compared to 13%.
The researchers, who were part of the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study, which was published in 2005, analysed a total of 9795 patients − 3657 women and 6138 men − with type 2 diabetes.
Participants were assigned a daily fenofibrate (200mg/day) or placebo tablet for a period of five years.
The findings also show that fenofibrate reduces the risk of cardiovascular outcome by 30% in women and 24% in men with very high triglyceride and low HDL levels, who are at high risk of diabetes complications.
The study authors said: “These data provide reassurance about fenofibrate efficacy in both women and men with type 2 diabetes.
“Both sexes with type 2 diabetes should be considered for fenofibrate therapy for cardioprotection… especially those with abnormal blood fats (dyslipidaemia),” they said.
- Read the full study paper in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes