Current guidelines for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in therapy and future directions
Bishnu H Subedi,1,2 Parag H Joshi,1 Steven R Jones,1 Seth S Martin,1 Michael J Blaha,1 Erin D Michos1
1Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, 2Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, USA
Abstract: Many studies have suggested that a significant risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). Therefore, increasing HDL-C with therapeutic agents has been considered an attractive strategy. In the prestatin era, fibrates and niacin monotherapy, which cause modest increases in HDL-C, reduced ASCVD events. Since their introduction, statins have become the cornerstone of lipoprotein therapy, the benefits of which are primarily attributed to decrease in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Findings from several randomized trials involving niacin or cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors have challenged the concept that a quantitative elevation of plasma HDL-C will uniformly translate into ASCVD benefits. Consequently, the HDL, or more correctly, HDL-C hypothesis has become more controversial. There are no clear guidelines thus far for targeting HDL-C or HDL due to lack of solid outcomes data for HDL specific therapies. HDL-C levels are only one marker of HDL out of its several structural or functional properties. Novel approaches are ongoing in developing and assessing agents that closely mimic the structure of natural HDL or replicate its various functions, for example, reverse cholesterol transport, vasodilation, anti-inflammation, or inhibition of platelet aggregation. Potential new approaches like HDL infusions, delipidated HDL, liver X receptor agonists, Apo A-I upregulators, Apo A mimetics, and gene therapy are in early phase trials. This review will outline current therapies and describe future directions for HDL therapeutics.
Keywords: high-density lipoprotein, lipids, cholesterol, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, therapy
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