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BACKGROUND: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients are at increased risk for cardiovascular (CV) events. Most guidelines recommend treating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels to ≤70 mg/dL (1.8 mM) for patients with T2D and established atherosclerotic CV disease, and some a more aggressive target of ≤55 mg/dL (1.4 mM). Our objective was to assess the degree to which these LDL-C targets are achieved in routine practice. METHODS: Using data from TECOS, an international pragmatic CV outcomes trial of sitagliptin vs placebo, we assessed lipid-lowering treatment among patients with T2D and CV disease, baseline lipid values, and the association between baseline LDL-C and 5-year risk for major adverse cardiac events (MACE; ie, CV death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke). RESULTS: Overall, 11,066 of 14,671 TECOS participants (75.4%) had LDL-C measured at baseline. Median age was 65 years, 72% were male, and median T2D duration was 10 years. Overall, 82.5% of patients were on statins; only 5.8% were on ezetimibe. At baseline, 14.3% had LDL-C ≤55 mg/dL, 18.4% between 55.1 and 70 mg/dL, 35% between 70.1 and 100 mg/dL, and 32.3% >100 mg/dL. Each 10 mg/dL higher LDL-C value was associated with a higher risk of MACE (HR 1.05, 95% CI 1.03-1.07) or CV death (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.04-1.09). CONCLUSIONS: Although most high-risk patients with T2D and CV disease were on lipid-lowering therapy, only 1:3 had LDL-C <70 mg/dL and 1:6 had LDL-C <55 mg/dL. Each 10 mg/dL higher LDL-C value was associated with a 5% and 6% higher 5-year incidence of MACE and CV death, respectively. (TECOS, NCT00790205).

Original publication




Journal article


Am Heart J

Publication Date





82 - 88


Aged, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cholesterol, LDL, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Double-Blind Method, Ezetimibe, Female, Humans, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Hypoglycemic Agents, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Infarction, Reference Values, Sitagliptin Phosphate, Stroke