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Secondary causes of dyslipidemia.

The causes of the lipid disorders in patients referred to specialty clinics for difficult-to-treat dyslipidemias are likely multifactorial. However, the importance of evaluating for secondary causes is unclear. The investigators performed a chart review of new patients referred to the University of Michigan Lipid Clinic from January 2004 to June 2011 (n = 824) to evaluate for the prevalence of several secondary causes of dyslipidemia. In addition to lipoproteins, new patients were assessed for secondary dyslipidemias by a standardized protocol consisting of laboratory testing, a nutritional evaluation, and medical history. These data were evaluated to determine the prevalence of several secondary causes of dyslipidemia. A total of 363 separate factors were identified in the 824 patients that were thought to be potential secondary causes of dyslipidemia. Because some patients (n = 83 [10%]) had multiple conditions, there were 230 (28% of the cohort) with ≥1 potential secondary dyslipidemias. The most common conditions were excessive alcohol intake (n = 82 [10%]), uncontrolled diabetes mellitus (n = 68 [8%]), and overt albuminuria. Although other causes occurred less frequently (each individually found in <5% of patients), altogether they were present in a substantial portion of patients (n = 102 [12%]). In conclusion, nearly 1/3 of patients referred to a specialty clinic had identifiable secondary conditions plausibly contributing to their dyslipidemia. Numerous disorders were identified, with diabetes mellitus and excessive alcohol being the most common.

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