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Statin therapy for diabetics.

The cholesterol-lowering medicine Lipitor helps protect people with diabetes from heart attacks and strokes, according to a large study presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association.

The Collaborative Atorvastatin Diabetes Study (CARDS) evaluated nearly 3,000 patients with type 2 diabetes, no history of heart disease, and relatively low levels of cholesterol. Data show that patients who took Lipitor had a 37 percent reduction in major cardiovascular events and experienced 48 percent fewer strokes compared to those who received placebos.

The trial was halted nearly two years earlier than planned due to the significant benefits among patients taking the active drug.

"This important study has demonstrated that lowering cholesterol with atorvastatin in patients with diabetes--even those whose LDL, or 'bad' cholesterol, levels were relatively low--will result in a dramatic cardiovascular benefit," said CARDS co-principal investigator Professor Helen Colhoun of University College, Dublin, Ireland. "CARDS demonstrates that statin therapy can be of great benefit to the vast majority of diabetes patients."

American Diabetes Association guidelines recommend that adults with type 2 diabetes should be considered for statin therapy regardless of their LDL levels.
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Title Annotation:Neighborhood Heart Watch
Author:Zipes, Douglas
Publication:Medical Update
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2004
Words:186
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