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Lipid Lowering with Statins May Reduce Vascular Events

Reduction in vascular event rates is proportional to low-density lipoprotein cholesterol reduction, meta-analysis reports

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol achieved with statin therapy lead to a proportional drop in rates of major vascular events and death, and these benefits are similar in patients with diabetes regardless of baseline characteristics, as well as in non-diabetics, according to a meta-analysis published in the Jan. 12 issue of The Lancet.

The Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' Collaborators conducted a meta-analysis of 14 randomized statin trials involving 18,686 individuals with diabetes (1,466 with type 1 and 17,220 with type 2 diabetes) and 71,370 individuals without diabetes in order to determine the clinical effects of LDL cholesterol reduction.

During a mean follow-up period of 4.3 years, all-cause mortality dropped by 9 percent per 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol among diabetics, with a 13 percent drop in mortality per mmol/L LDL reduction seen in non-diabetic individuals. Vascular events were reduced in diabetics and non-diabetics by 21 percent per mmol/L of LDL reduction. Among diabetics, there was a 22 percent proportional reduction in myocardial infarction, 25 percent reduction in revascularizations and 21 percent reduction in stroke per 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL. These reduced risks seen in diabetics with statin therapy occurred irrespective of baseline characteristics, including prior history of vascular disease.

"Statin therapy should be considered for all diabetic individuals who are at sufficiently high risk of vascular events," the authors conclude.

Most of the trials studied in the meta-analysis were sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.

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