Low density lipoproteins (LDL) size seems to be an important predictor of cardiovascular events and progression of coronary artery disease and the predominance of small dense LDL have been accepted as an emerging cardiovascular risk factor by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. We recently showed increased LDL size or higher levels of small, dense LDL in different categories of patients at higher cardiovascular risk, such as those with coronary (including acute myocardial infarction) and non-coronary (including carotid disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease) forms of atherosclerosis or metabolic diseases (including type-II diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome and growth hormone deficiency). Screening for the presence of small, dense LDL may potentially identify those with even higher risk and may contribute in directing specific treatments in order to prevent new cardiovascular events. This seems particularly true for statins and fibrates. Promising data are available for rosuvastatin, the latest statin molecule introduced in the market, and ezetimibe, a cholesterol absorption inhibitor. The most recent patents regarding these two hypolipidemic agents include the antiinflammatory, antithrombotic and antiplatelet activity (EP1626716B1 and CN1794987A for rosuvastatin) and the potential use for treatment of cholesterol-associated benign and malignant tumors and diabetes (US7098198 and US7071181 for ezetimibe).
Keywords: Small, dense LDL, cardiovascular risk, fibrates, statins, rosuvastatin, ezetimibe
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