A new study has found that the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin can prevent heart disease and help individuals with type 2 diabetes live longer even if they have normal cholesterol levels. The study involved >2800 patients with diabetes who were split into 2 groups. One group was given atorvastatin and the other given placebo pills.
During a 4-year period, the patients who took the statin were 27% less likely to die and 37% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. The researchers concluded that the drug should be given to patients with type 2 diabetes even if they have normal cholesterol levels. Yet, one expert argued that it was too early to recommend that all type 2 diabetics take cholesterol-lowering drugs. (The findings were published in the Lancet, August 21, 2004.)