ADA Recommends Statins for Diabetics
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has advised that diabeticsconsider taking a statin to lower cholesterol, even if theyalready have low cholesterol levels. Because diabetics are in thehigh-risk category for heart disease, statins will benefit them,according to the association's latest treatment guidelines.
The new guidelines stem from the results of a British studyreported in early 2004 in The Lancet. The study of adults over age40 found that individuals who took statins had a one third lower riskof stroke. "It is now a consensus that having diabetes is the equivalentin terms of cardiovascular risk of already having had a heartattack," said Nathaniel Clark, MD, PhD, vice president for clinicalaffairs for the ADA.
In the past 5 years, studies have indicated that statins can lowerthe levels of C-reactive protein—a substance in the blood that is asign of inflammation in the body and is a predictor of heart disease.A major study called the JUPITER Trial is under way to investigatewhether statins can prevent first-time heart attack, stroke, or othercardiovascular disease in individuals who have low low-densitylipoprotein but whose levels of C-reactive protein are high. "Inflammationin general, and C-reactive protein in particular, is a risk factorfor diabetes," said Paul Ridker, MD, MPH, who is leading theJUPITER Trial.