Understanding the Role of Lipids in Diabetic Complications

Although it is well-known that abnormal lipid levels, such as high LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, are a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease, several recent studies suggest they might also be involved in the development and progression of other complications of diabetes. As reported in the journal Diabetes Care, a JDRF-funded study has shown that a significant number of children and teenagers with type 1 diabetes have abnormal lipid levels, including higher-than-recommended levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition, people who have microalbuminuria—a sign of early kidney disease—had the highest cholesterol levels, suggesting that lipid levels may play a role in developing this complication. The multi-center study took place in the United Kingdom. John Todd and Jason Cooper, both of the JDRF/Wellcome Trust Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory in Cambridge, contributed to the research.