New guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP) suggest that adults with type 2 diabetes who have just 1 risk factor for heart disease should be taking medication to lower their cholesterol levels. The ACP based its recommendations on the results of 12 lipid-lowering studies that had data on outcomes for diabetic patients. Information from the studies demonstrated that the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, along with an additional lipid-lowering agent, gemfibrozil, will lead to a >20% reduction in major heart-related occurrences in individuals with diabetes.
Based on the results, the ACP recommends lipid-lowering therapy for all diabetic patients with known coronary disease. Also, treatment is advised for patients with any major risk factor for disease, such as age over 55 years and high blood pressure. (The findings were reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, April 2004.)