Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Lowers Cardiovascular Death Linked To Diabetes

shutterstock_88837180According to the American Heart Association, more than 65 percent of diabetics end up dying from stroke or some form of heart disease. There seems to be a connection between these conditions. It may in fact, be understandable to know that a study indicates that cholesterol-lowering drugs can help prolong the life of diabetics by lowering cardiovascular disease.

Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center suggest that using cholesterol-lowering statins can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death associated with type 2 diabetes. The findings were reported in the current online edition of Diabetes Care. According to Don Bowden, Ph. D., professor of biochemistry at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and lead author of the said study, “Although our study was not a clinical trial, it did show that people with diabetes and heart disease can still live quite a few years by taking statins.”

The researchers analyzed data coming from 371 patients who were participants of the Diabetes Heart Study. The participants took a CT scan at the start of the study to determine their coronary artery calcium or CAC levels. A CAC greater than 1,000 will indicate an increased cardiovascular disease risk.

The researchers analyzed and made a baseline exam of the 153 patients who died during the average 8.2 years of follow-up in the study and the 218 participants who survived. The researchers have assumed that the mortality risk among the study participants were consistently high. But the 60 percent of them were still living after more than 8 years. Upon examining the baseline characteristics further, the researchers determined that the use of cholesterol-lowering statins was the only identifiable protective factor against mortality in the study. Participants who were taking statins at the start of the study showed a 50 percent increase of staying alive compared to those who did not.

The study indicates the importance of prescribing cholesterol-lowering medication among people with type 2 diabetes who also have higher cardiovascular disease risk. The researchers added that previous studies indicate that the rates of statins prescribed for treating diabetics 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,” Bowden further added.

Source: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. (2014, July 16). Cholesterol-lowering drugs may reduce cardiovascular death in type 2 diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 16, 2014 from


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