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Reducing Cardiovascular Risk Factors With Medication Has Benefits In Type 2 Diabetes

Doctor's Guide

Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure with medication has cardiovascular benefits for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

“Cardiovascular complications account for over 50 percent of mortality among patients with type 2 diabetes,” according to investigators from the University of Chicago, Illinois, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, United States.

The cardiovascular benefits of controlling risk factors with medication were quantified through a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in diabetes. Trials taking place from 1966 to 2000 were identified using MEDLINE and review articles.

Results showed that lowering cholesterol and blood pressure had large, significant effects on rates of death from coronary heart disease and on rates of nonfatal myocardial infarction.

Intensive glucose lowering also reduced events, but not to a statistically significant degree.

Sixty-nine to 300 person years of cholesterol-lowering or blood pressure-lowering treatment was required to prevent one cardiovascular event.
“The evidence from these clinical trials demonstrates that lipid and blood pressure lowering in patients with type 2 diabetes is associated with substantial cardiovascular benefits,” the investigators conclude.

Support for this study was provided by a Public Health National Research Service Award, a Health Resources and Service Administration Award, the American Diabetes Association and SmithKline Beecham.

Am J Med 2001; 111(8): 633-642

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