Statins Benefit Diabetics
Statins are among the most widely used medicines in the Western world, but they are not usually prescribed for diabetes, even though diabetics are at higher risk of heart disease and strokes than nondiabetics. Now, a 5-year British study of nearly 6000 patients suggests that a daily dose of simvastatin can cut the risk of a first heart attack or stroke by nearly 25%?even in diabetic patients with relatively low cholesterol levels. Merck & Co, the maker of simvastatin, provided partial funding for the research. According to the lead researcher, although the study looked only at simvas-tatin, rival products from companies such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Bristol-Myers Squibb are expected to work just as well. The study estimates that this regimen could prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes worldwide each year.