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Lipitor Reduces Heart Risks For Diabetics


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Lipitor reduces heart risks for diabetics

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, known generically as atorvastatin, reduces cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, a study shows.

The findings confirm that regardless of "cholesterol level at baseline, the use of atorvastatin by patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension reduces adverse cardiovascular events by about a quarter," Dr. Neil R. Poulter of Imperial College, London, told Reuters Health.

In light of these results and other data, Poulter added, "physicians really need to find a good reason why not to include a statin as part of routine treatment for all patients with type 2 diabetes."

The investigator and his and colleagues examined data from a large trial that included more than 10,000 hypertensive patients with no history of coronary heart disease, but at least three cardiovascular risk factors.

The researchers focused on the 2532 participants who had diabetes at the start of the study. The subjects, who did not have very high cholesterol levels, were randomly assigned to take Lipitor or an inactive placebo.

After 3 years, there were 116 (9 percent) major cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or procedures such as coronary bypass surgery in the Lipitor group and 151 (12 percent) in the placebo group -- a significant reduction -- the researchers report in the journal Diabetes Care.

The team concludes that it seems reasonable to prescribe statin therapy routinely for people with diabetes, particularly older patients and those with a long duration of diabetes.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, May 2005.

©2005 Reuters Health.

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