New Guidelines for Statin Drugs
If you have diabetes, don’t be surprised if your doctor recommends a statin (cholesterol-lowering medication) for you soon, even if your cholesterol level seems fine. New guidelines from the American College for Physicians state that people who are older than 55 and who have type 2 diabetes should be taking moderate doses of statins to help prevent heart disease. They also recommend statins for people who are younger than 55 and who have additional heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and smoking.
The College decided to issue these guidelines after reviewing studies showing that people with diabetes who had taken statins reduced their risk of heart disease by 22 to 24 percent. Studies show that up to 80 percent of people with diabetes will develop heart problems. Controlling blood sugar is one essential component of diabetes care, but the research is showing that statins are the best way to reduce the risk of heart disease.
The Annals of Internal Medicine, 20 April 2004; The New York Times, 20 April 2002, Science Section.