Lipitor Approved as Preventive Drug for Patients with Diabetes
The FDA has approved the use of the cholesterol-loweringdrug Lipitor for reducing the risk of stroke and heartattack among patients with type 2 diabetes who exhibit nosigns of heart disease but have other risk factors such as highcholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease,smoking, and obesity. This approval allows patientswith normal levels of low-density lipoprotein ("bad") cholesterolto take the drug if they have just one of the commonrisk factors. This recent approval was based on datafrom 2 large studies that demonstrated how Lipitor reducedthe risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with diabetes.It is estimated that 25% to 33% of patients with diabeteshave symptoms of cardiovascular disease, and patients withdiabetes have a much greater risk of dying from heart diseasethan patients without the disease.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.