HealthDay News – The drug fenofibrate (Antara) is more effective in lowering lipoprotein profiles in women with type 2 diabetes compared with men, according to research published in Diabetologia.

“In general, women have a more favorable lipid profile than men, but the differences diminish once women become postmenopausal,” explained Michael C. d’Emden, PhD, of the Royal Brisbane Hospital in Australia, and colleagues.

To examine sex-related differences in the impact of fenofibrate on cardiovascular events in type 2 diabetes, the investigators studied data from 3,657 female and 6,138 male patients with type 2 diabetes, who were not using statins, assigned to receive fenofibrate or placebo for a five-year period.

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In both genders, baseline total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), non-HDL-C, apolipoproteins A-I and B, and triglycerides levels improved with fenofibrate (all P<0.001).

In women, fenofibrate induced greater reductions in total cholesterol, LDL-C, non-HDL-C, and apolipoprotein B (all P<0.001), irrespective of menopausal status and statin intake.

Fenofibrate reduced total cardiovascular outcomes by 30% in women and 13% in men (P=0.008 and 0.07, respectively), after adjustment for confounders, with no indication of a treatment-by-sex interaction (P>0.1).

Among patients with high triglyceride levels and low HDL-C, there were cardiac outcome reductions of 30% and 24% in women and men, respectively, with fenofibrate, with no indication of treatment-by-sex interaction (P>0.1).

“These results suggest that fenofibrate is effective for improving an adverse lipoprotein profile and for reducing total CVD event risk in women with type 2 diabetes, especially those with dyslipidaemia,” concluded the researchers.


  1. d’Emeden M et al. Diabetologia. 2014; doi: 10.1007/s00125-014-3344-3

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to Abbott Pharmaceuticals, which partially funded the study.