Purpose of review
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is a leading cause of mortality in adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Although dyslipidaemia is a modifiable and prevalent risk factor in individuals with T1D, determining when to initiate lipid-lowering therapy for primary prevention of ASCVD can be challenging. In this article, recommendations for lipid-lowering therapy from updated clinical guidelines over the last 5 years, additional risk-stratification methods, hypertriglyceridaemia management and potential barriers to optimal care in adults with T1D are discussed.
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is the primary target for lipid-lowering. However, international guidelines recommend differing approaches to ASCVD risk-stratification, lipid-lowering, and LDL-C goals in individuals with diabetes, predominantly reflecting evidence from studies in type 2 diabetes. Despite guideline recommendations, several studies have demonstrated that statins are underused, and LDL-C goals are not attained by many individuals with T1D. Additional risk-stratification methods including T1D-specific ASCVD risk calculators, coronary artery calcium scoring, and lipoprotein(a) may provide additional information to define when to initiate lipid-lowering therapy.
Clinical trial evidence for lipid-lowering therapies in T1D is lacking, and further studies are needed to inform best practice. Optimization and harmonization of ASCVD risk-stratification and lipid management in individuals with T1D is required.