Pravachol: How Cholesterol-Lowering May Help You


By: W. Langbein

The cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol (pravastatin), when administered at 40 milligrams per day over six years, helps prevent cardiovascular events including stroke in people with diabetes or with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and established coronary disease.

The LIPID trial (long-term intervention with pravastatin in ischemic disease) conducted in Australia studied 9,014 patients including 1,077 with diabetes and 940 with IFG.

Use of Pravachol reduced the risk of any cardiovascular event from 52.7 to 45.2 percent in subjects with diabetes and reduced the risk of stroke from 9.9 to 6.3 percent. However, it did not reduce the incidence of diabetes in those not previously diagnosed.

Treatment with “statin” drugs to lower cholesterol does pay off, however.

Use of pravastatin prevented one major coronary event (death or nonfatal myocardial infarction) over a six-year period in 23 patients with IFG and 18 patients with diabetes.

In the placebo-treated group the risk of a major coronary disease event was 61 percent higher in subjects with diabetes and 23 percent higher in those with IFG than in subjects with normal fasting glucose.

Diabetes Care, October 2003



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