Triglyceride Lowering with Pemafibrate to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk.

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BACKGROUND: High triglyceride levels are associated with increased cardiovascular risk, but whether reductions in these levels would lower the incidence of cardiovascular events is uncertain. Pemafibrate, a selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α modulator, reduces triglyceride levels and improves other lipid levels.

METHODS: In a multinational, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, we assigned patients with type 2 diabetes, mild-to-moderate hypertriglyceridemia (triglyceride level, 200 to 499 mg per deciliter), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels of 40 mg per deciliter or lower to receive pemafibrate (0.2-mg tablets twice daily) or matching placebo. Eligible patients were receiving guideline-directed lipid-lowering therapy or could not receive statin therapy without adverse effects and had low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels of 100 mg per deciliter or lower. The primary efficacy end point was a composite of nonfatal myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, coronary revascularization, or death from cardiovascular causes.

RESULTS: Among 10,497 patients (66.9% with previous cardiovascular disease), the median baseline fasting triglyceride level was 271 mg per deciliter, HDL cholesterol level 33 mg per deciliter, and LDL cholesterol level 78 mg per deciliter. The median follow-up was 3.4 years. As compared with placebo, the effects of pemafibrate on lipid levels at 4 months were -26.2% for triglycerides, -25.8% for very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, -25.6% for remnant cholesterol (cholesterol transported in triglyceride-rich lipoproteins after lipolysis and lipoprotein remodeling), -27.6% for apolipoprotein C-III, and 4.8% for apolipoprotein B. A primary end-point event occurred in 572 patients in the pemafibrate group and in 560 of those in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 0.91 to 1.15), with no apparent effect modification in any prespecified subgroup. The overall incidence of serious adverse events did not differ significantly between the groups, but pemafibrate was associated with a higher incidence of adverse renal events and venous thromboembolism and a lower incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with type 2 diabetes, mild-to-moderate hypertriglyceridemia, and low HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, the incidence of cardiovascular events was not lower among those who received pemafibrate than among those who received placebo, although pemafibrate lowered triglyceride, VLDL cholesterol, remnant cholesterol, and apolipoprotein C-III levels. (Funded by the Kowa Research Institute; PROMINENT number, NCT03071692.).





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine

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