Statins for All Adults With Diabetes?
Study: One-Third Less Diabetes-Linked Heart Disease With Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs
WebMD News Archive
"If you are crossing the street, you can choose to wear a helmet because
it may save your life in case you are knocked by a car. You are relatively
safer, although the absolute risk of this is quite low," Cheung tells
WebMD. "But if you are riding a motorcycle, the helmet is going to be
important because your risk of an accident is much greater."
Some people with diabetes have a lower heart-disease risk than others. For
them, Cheung says, taking statins would be like wearing a helmet to cross the
"It was once believed that the mere fact of having diabetes gives a
person the same risk of heart attack as a person who had a heart attack
before," Cheung says. "We are now treating people's diabetes much
better than before, and their baseline risk of heart
disease is lower than before."
Cheung says everyone with diabetes should discuss cholesterol-lowering
therapy with their doctors, but he does not think doctors should always
recommend drug therapy.
"Even if a person has a 1% per year risk of a major cardiovascular
event, there is still a benefit from statins," he says. "So for people
whose risk increases over time -- and after middle age, that is most everybody
with diabetes -- there is no point in not treating them with statins."
The study by Baigent and colleagues, and an editorial by Cheung, appear in
the Jan. 12 issue of The Lancet.
(If you have diabetes, has your doctor
talked to you about a statins? Will you ask? Talk about it on WebMD's Type 2 Diabetes Support