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Hyperlipidemia consists in the increase of one or more fats (cholesterol, triglycerides) in the blood; since both cholesterol and triglycerides are fats, the term can refer to an increase in blood levels of one or both.

Hyperlipidemias are, therefore, classifiable into:

  • hypercholesterolemia: increase in cholesterol content in the blood beyond the normal limits, with particular reference to LDL cholesterol;
  • combined hyperlipidaemia: high blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol;
  • hypertriglyceridemia: excess of triglycerides in the blood.

It should be emphasised that this classification is intended as a suitable means to identify the patient’s lipid alteration and that identifying the causes, pathogenesis or clinical features of the hyperlipidaemia condition are in no way intended.

Each alteration may be due either to a congenital anomaly of lipid metabolism (primitive forms) or to an alteration of this metabolism caused by other factors (secondary forms). Furthermore, each primitive form could be caused by different genetic diseases.

The lack of knowledge of the mechanisms that cause primary hyperlipidemia has hitherto prevented a complete etiological classification of all these morbid forms, some of which are considered partly genetic, while others may originate in the absence of any genetic correlation (alternative: correlation) (so-called sporadic forms).

For the purposes of treatment it is important to distinguish the primitive forms, treatable mainly via pharmacology with the aim of normalizing the levels of lipids circulating in the blood, from the secondary ones that are initially addressed by means of actions (diet, physical activity) aimed at intervention to tackle the causes of the pathology. If these interventions are not effective, there may be a further therapeutic strategy based on lipid-lowering drugs.

In particular, for the pharmacological treatment of hypertriglyceridemia, mainly Omega-3 fatty acids are used, which, following a continuous intake, have been shown to reduce circulating triglyceride levels.

Conversely, the drugs indicated for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia include: statins, fibrates, ion-exchange resins and ezetimibe. Among these, statins are certainly the most effective class in the reduction of LDL cholesterol and this treatment is made even stronger when combined with ezetimibe.

PIAM, always attentive to the need for effective treatments that afford the greatest ease and safety of administration, offers a complete range of drugs and supplements for these clinical patterns.