Diabetes research reveals benefits of statins

Two new studies provide overwhelming evidence that the use of statins significantly cuts the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with diabetes.

The Heart Protection Study was funded by the Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation.  It looked at the effect of cholesterol-lowering statins in people with diabetes. The trial used 6,000 people with diabetes and it showed that the use of statins cuts the risk of heart attack, stroke or revascularisation operations by one third in patients with diabetes.  If the findings are acted on it could prevent at least 10,000 heart attacks, stokes and revascularisation operations each year in the UK.

The second study, the Collaborative AtoRvastatin Diabetes Study was sponsored by Diabetes UK, the Department of Health and Pfizer UK.  It involved almost 3,000 people with Type 2 diabetes and was designed to compare the effectiveness of lipid-lowering drugs for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.  The trial was due to be completed in June 2005 but has been stopped early because results collected already showed a significant benefit and the data strongly suggests that statins benefit certain people with Type 2 diabetes.