Statins Prolong Life for Patients With Diabetic Heart Disease
Using cholesterol-lowering statins could help prolong life for people who have diabetic heart disease, a new study has found.
Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center published their study in Diabetes Care.
“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,” said Don Bowden, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.
In the study, the researchers looked at data from 371 patients who had participated in the Diabetes Heart Study. The patients got a CT scan at the beginning of the study to evaluate their levels of coronary artery calcium (CAC); a CAC score greater than 1,000 indicates an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The team compared the baseline readings of 153 patients who died during an average 8.2 years of follow-up and 218 who survived. The use of statins was the only difference. Bowden said this indicates the importance of prescription of cholesterol-lowering medications among individuals with Type 2 diabetes who have existing high CVD risk.
“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.