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.