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Statin Dose Cuts Cardiac Events 25 Percent in Diabetics

Significant difference seen between 10 milligram and 80 milligram dose of atorvastatin

THURSDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- High doses of the lipid-lowering drug atorvastatin cut major cardiovascular events in diabetics with stable coronary heart disease by one-quarter, according to a report in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

James Shepherd, M.D., of the University of Glasgow in the U.K., and colleagues randomly treated 1,501 diabetic patients with coronary heart disease and LDL cholesterol levels under 130 milligrams per deciliter with either 10 or 80 milligrams per day of atorvastatin.

After a median 4.9-year follow-up, the researchers found that mean LDL cholesterol levels had dropped to 98.6 mg/dL in patients on 10 mg of atorvastatin, versus 77 mg/dL in those on 80 mg doses. Overall, 17.9 percent of patients on the 10-mg dose of atorvastatin had a major cadiovascular event, compared to 13.8 percent of those on the 80-mg dose. Adverse events related to treatment occurred in 5.4 percent of the 10-mg group and 7 percent of the 80-mg group, which was not statistically significant.

"Among patients with clinically evident coronary heart disease and diabetes, intensive therapy with atorvastatin 80 mg significantly reduced the rate of major cardiovascular events by 25 percent compared with atorvastatin 10 mg," the authors conclude.

The study was funded by Pfizer.

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