We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Tue 12 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Statin standard urged for diabetics

Statin therapy should be standard treatment for diabetics, a team of UK-based researchers has said, after a meta-analysis showed the drugs substantially reduced all-cause mortality in patients with diabetes.

Statin therapy should be standard treatment for diabetics, a team of UK-based researchers has said, after a meta-analysis showed the drugs substantially reduced all-cause mortality in patients with diabetes.

In a study thought to be the largest of its kind, a team of international researchers analysed data from 14 randomised statin trials involving 18,686 patients with diabetes - 1,466 with type 1 and 17,220 with type 2.

After five years, 42 fewer people with diabetes had major vascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, per 1,000 patients treated with statin therapy.

Each mmol/l reduction in LDL cholesterol reduced all-cause mortality by 9% in patients with diabetes, comparable to a 13% reduction in patients without the disease.

The findings, which were published in the Lancet journal, contradict two recent studies that found no statistically definitive benefit of statins in patients with diabetes.

Colin Baigent of the Clinical Trial Service Unit in Oxford, England, and one of the authors of the research, said the latest data spoke clearly of the benefits of statins for diabetics.

"They are clearly effective for a wide range of people with diabetes, irrespective of their absolute risk and irrespective of whether they have type 1 or type 2 (diabetes) or whether they are male or female," he told reporters.

"Generic statins are highly cost-effective, right down to an annual risk of about 1% per annum of a major vascular event, so it makes sense for statins to be used widely in most people with diabetes."

Statin therapy is already widely used to treat diabetic patients deemed to be at risk of cardiovascular disease. Baigent said the latest research should encourage more widespread prescribing still.

"I think individual doctors will be influenced by this and, hopefully, also the guidelines bodies will consider it when they update their guidelines in due course," he said.

In an accompanying editorial, Bernard Cheung of the University of Birmingham, England, said the latest findings were reassuring but added that statins were not a panacea and physicians must continue to stress the importance of achieving lifestyle modifications.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest health tips & news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.