- 1Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp), Morrisville, NC, USA.
- 2Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.
- 3Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
Background: Patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common cause of chronic liver disease, are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated mortality. Therefore, it is important to understand how new therapies for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) may impact CVD risk factors in these patients.
Aims: To summarise the effects of drug therapies on lipid and lipoprotein levels in patients with NASH and provide insight into the potential mechanisms for the observed changes.
Methods: PubMed searches of the literature were performed and results were compiled.
Results: Recent clinical trials have highlighted the safety and efficacy of drug candidates for the treatment of NASH. Several agents have shown improvements in the histological features of NASH and liver function. Pioglitazone, a drug that is currently available for type 2 diabetes and may be useful for NASH, exhibits beneficial effects on lipids. However, agents such as farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonists, which are in development for NASH, may adversely affect circulating lipids and lipoproteins.
Conclusions: NASH is a multi-system disease with a disproportionate CVD burden. The current and future drugs for NASH have had variable impact on the atherogenic risk profile. Potential co-administration of a statin may help mitigate the negative impact of some of these therapies on lipid and lipoprotein levels.