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Cholesterol, blood pressure control may reverse atherosclerosis in adults with diabetes
Date:4/8/2008

Aggressively lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels below current targets in adults with type 2 diabetes may help to prevent and possibly reverse hardening of the arteries, according to new research supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. Hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, is the number one cause of heart disease and can lead to heart attack, stroke, and death.

The three-year study of 499 participants is the first to compare two treatment targets for LDL (bad) cholesterol and systolic blood pressure levels, key risk factors for heart disease, in people with diabetes. Results are published in the April 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

This study provides good news for adults with type 2 diabetes, said Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., NHLBI director. These patients are two to four times more likely than people without diabetes to die from heart disease. For the first time, we have evidence that aggressively lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure can actually reverse damage to the arteries in middle-aged adults with diabetes.

In the Stop Atherosclerosis in Native Diabetics Study (SANDS), approximately one-half of the participants (247) were asked to lower to standard levels their LDL cholesterol (to 100 milligrams per deciliter) and blood pressure (systolic blood pressure of 130 mmHg or lower), while the other half (252) aimed for more aggressive lowering of LDL cholesterol to 70 mg/dL or lower and of systolic blood pressure to 115 mmHg or lower. All participants were American Indians 40 years or older (average age of 56) who had diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and high blood pressure but no history of heart attack or other evidence of heart disease. The study was conducted at four clinical centers in southwestern Oklahoma; Phoenix, Ariz.; northeastern Arizona; and South Dakota. All participants continued to rec
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Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
NHLBI_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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