Tracking Cardiovascular Health in Type 2s

Two years of statin therapy showed no effect on carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in people with type 2 diabetes without apparent cardiovascular disease. However, there was a significantly lower cardiovascular event rate, according to researchers in the Netherlands.

A total of 250 patients with type 2 were given either a statin drug or placebo daily for two years. There was no significant change of carotid IMT over the two years in either group, but LDL cholesterol was lowered by 25 percent in the statin group and increased by 8 percent in the placebo group.

Cardiovascular events occurred in 12 patients in the placebo group and in two patients in the statin group.

Since there was no significant change in IMT, the researchers say that other methods should be used for identifying cardiovascular disease in type 2s.

Diabetes Care, December 2004

Clinical adviser’s note: Initially, patients in the treatment group of this randomized study were given cerivastatin (U.S. brand name Baycol) 0.4 mg per day. When this drug was withdrawn from the market, the treatment was changed to Zocor (simvastatin) 20 mg per day without unblinding the study.

For more information on why the lipid-regulating drugs called statins are recommended for most people with diabetes, especially those over age 40 even if cholesterol levels are normal, see Dr. Einhorn’s article on page 18 of our November 2004 issue.

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