Cholesterol-lowering drugs may reduce cardiovascular death in Type 2 diabetes

July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014 – Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability among people with Type 2 diabetes. In fact, at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke, according to the American Heart Association.

However, a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center suggests that the use of cholesterol-lowering statins may help prolong the lives of people with diabetic .

The study is published in the current online edition of Diabetes Care.

"Although our study was not a clinical trial, it did show that people with diabetes and can still live quite a few years by taking statins," said Don Bowden, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.

The research team studied data from 371 patients who had participated in the Diabetes Heart Study. At the beginning of the study, the participants received a CT scan to determine their levels of (CAC); a CAC score greater than 1,000 indicates an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The team compared the baseline characteristics of 153 patients who died during an average 8.2 years of follow-up and 218 who survived. The researchers assumed that risk for mortality would be consistently high among the study participants. However, 60 percent were still living after more than eight years.

The use of cholesterol-lowering statins at the baseline exam was the only modifiable risk factor identified to be protective against mortality. The participants taking statins at the beginning of the study had a 50 percent increase of being alive as compared to those who didn't.

Bowden said this highlights the importance of widespread prescription of cholesterol-lowering medications among individuals with Type 2 who have existing high CVD risk, but added that in previous studies the rates of statins prescribed for diabetic patients have been low.

"These data suggest that cholesterol-lowering medications may be used less than recommended and need to be more aggressively targeted as a critical modifiable risk factor," he said.

Explore further: Study shows heart calcium scan predictive of diabetes-related death from cardiovascular disease

Related Stories

Modifiable risk factors impact CVD mortality in T2DM

July 14, 2014

(HealthDay)—Modifiable risk factors can be targeted for early and continued intervention to reduce the risk of adverse outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, according to research ...

Recommended for you

Drug prevents type 1 diabetes in mice, study finds

September 14, 2015

The buildup of a substance in the pancreas during the pre-symptomatic stage of Type 1 diabetes is essential to the development of the disease, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have shown.

Bacteria may cause type 2 diabetes

June 1, 2015

Bacteria and viruses have an obvious role in causing infectious diseases, but microbes have also been identified as the surprising cause of other illnesses, including cervical cancer (Human papilloma virus) and stomach ulcers ...

Engineered hot fat implants reduce weight gain in mice

August 20, 2015

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a novel way to engineer the growth and expansion of energy-burning "good" fat, and then found that this fat helped reduce weight gain and lower blood glucose ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.