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Cholesterol Drug Also Beneficial for Patients With Diabetes

A new study shows patients with type 2 diabetes could benefit from statins to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. A number of studies have shown the benefits of statin therapy to reduce cardiovascular disease in // various groups. It has not been clear whether type 2 diabetics who are at an increased cardiovascular risk would benefit from the drug therapy.

Researchers conducted a study to look at the effectiveness of statin therapy among type 2 diabetics.For the study, 2,800 type 2 diabetic patients in 132 centers in the United Kingdom and Ireland were randomly assigned to statin therapy or a placebo. The patients had no history of cardiovascular disease and low LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels. The patients were followed for about four years to see if they had a heart problem or stroke.

Researchers found patients on the statin therapy had a reduced risk of a heart attack by about one third compared to those on the placebo. The stroke risk was reduced by 48 percent. The study also found the statin drug, atorvastatin (Lipitor), reduced the death rate by 27 percent compared with placebo.

Study authors say statin therapy is safe and effective in reducing the risk of a cardiovascular event in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, they say the debate about whether all type 2 diabetics should receive statin treatment ought to now focus on whether any patients are at such a low risk that the treatment should be withheld.

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