Inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Several cardiovascular drugs exert anti-inflammatory effects and accumulating data suggest that fibrates also share this property. This review summarizes the mechanisms implicated in the anti-inflammatory actions of fibrates. We also provide an overview of the existing clinical studies addressing the effects of fibrates on markers of inflammation. Several, but not all, studies reported that fibrates exert anti-inflammatory actions. The small number of patients included in some studies, as well as differences in diagnoses and duration of follow up might partly explain this discrepancy. It is also possible that fibrates differ substantially in terms of anti-inflammatory effects. It is not clear whether an anti-inflammatory action of fibrates is clinically relevant. Future studies should assess whether the anti-inflammatory actions of fibrates (or for that matter, other drugs) will translate into a reduced risk of vascular disease.
Keywords: Fibrates, C-reactive protein, interleukin, adhesion molecules, statins, inflammation
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