PLoS One 2012 12;7(6):e38072. Epub 2012 Jun 12.
Department of Microbiology and Systems Biology, TNO, Zeist and Leiden, The Netherlands.
Fibrates lower triglycerides and raise HDL cholesterol in dyslipidemic patients, but show heterogeneous treatment response. We used k-means clustering to identify three representative NMR lipoprotein profiles for 775 subjects from the GOLDN population, and study the response to fenofibrate in corresponding subgroups. The subjects in each subgroup showed differences in conventional lipid characteristics and in presence/absence of cardiovascular risk factors at baseline; there were subgroups with a low, medium and high degree of dyslipidemia. Modeling analysis suggests that the difference between the subgroups with low and medium dyslipidemia is influenced mainly by hepatic uptake dysfunction, while the difference between subgroups with medium and high dyslipidemia is influenced mainly by extrahepatic lipolysis disfunction. The medium and high dyslipidemia subgroups showed a positive, yet distinct lipid response to fenofibrate treatment. When comparing our subgroups to known subgrouping methods, we identified an additional 33% of the population with favorable lipid response to fenofibrate compared to a standard baseline triglyceride cutoff method. Compared to a standard HDL cholesterol cutoff method, the addition was 18%. In conclusion, by using constructing subgroups based on representative lipoprotein profiles, we have identified two subgroups of subjects with positive lipid response to fenofibrate therapy and with different underlying disturbances in lipoprotein metabolism. The total subgroup with positive lipid response to fenofibrate is larger than subgroups identified with baseline triglyceride and HDL cholesterol cutoffs.