Statin Drugs Such as Lipitor, Zocor..Beneficial for Diabetes; Study Confirmed

Statin Drugs Such as Lipitor, Zocor..Beneficial for Diabetes; Study Confirmed

What is Statins?


Statins are a group of medicines which are commonly used to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. They include atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin. They each have different brand names. Statins work by blocking the action of a certain enzyme (chemical) in the liver which is needed to make cholesterol.

Statins therapy to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease for people with Type 2 Diabetes Many recent studies have shown the benefits of statin therapy to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in various groups of patients. Whether most patients with diabetes (who are known to be at increased cardiovascular risk) should receive cholesterol-lowering therapy remains unclear, especially for those patients who do not have High cholesterol.

According to results of a randomized trial issued by THE LANCET suggested that people with type 2 diabetes could be benefited from cholesterol-lowering therapy with statins to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease-even when they do not have high cholesterol concentrations.

According to renowned Professor Colhoun, Atorvastatin 10 mg daily is safe and efficacious in reducing the risk of first cardiovascular disease events, including stroke, in patients with type 2 diabetes without high LDL-cholesterol. No justification is available for having a particular threshold level of LDL-cholesterol as the sole arbiter of which patients with type 2 diabetes should receive statins.

Statin helps Blood Vessels Relax In Diabetics:

One way diabetes is bad for your blood vessels is by creating too much competition for an amino acid that helps blood vessels relax, that amino acid, L-arginine, is broken down by the enzyme arginase to urea, which helps the body eliminate toxins resulting from the proteins we eat.

Diabetics have a lot of arginase activity. It also means too little L-arginine is available to help nitric oxide synthase make nitric oxide, the powerful vasodilator that helps blood vessels relax, says Dr. Romero, who works in the lab of Dr. R. William Caldwell, chair of the MCG Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the study's corresponding author.

Researchers also found the amino acid, L-citrulline, as well as statins, compounds known to lower cholesterol, prevent elevation of arginase activity, restoring normal dilation abilities in animal models of type1 diabetes.

Most people with diabetes should be considered for treatment with statins (cholesterol drugs), according to scientists. Researchers at Oxford University reviewed 90,000 people including nearly 20,000 with diabetes and found more people would be benefited from statin treatment than previously thought.

Statin Therapy reduces the risk of major vascular events:

For most diabetes patients statin therapy reduces the risk of major vascular events, such as heart attack, stroke, or coronary revascularization (the need for an operation to bypass or unblock the coronary arteries). This is according to another Article in The Lancet, recently. Estimates place the number of people globally with diabetes mellitus at 170 million - a figure which is set to more than double within the next 22 years. Since both Diabetes Types 1 and 2 are linked to a raised risk of cardiovascular disease it is a public-health priority to identify treatments for the prevention of major vascular events.

Previous studies have demonstrated that statins are effective in preventing major vascular events in diabetes patients. However, the size of any benefits on major coronary events, stroke or coronary revascularization is unclear.

A coronary event is, for example, a heart attack or death from coronary heart disease. The Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' (CTT) Collaborators (Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Oxford, UK and National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trial Centre, Sydney, Australia) did a meta-analysis of 18,686 people with diabetes as well as 71,370 without diabetes from a total of 14 randomized trials.

They wanted to see what the effects of statin therapy were in lowering LDL cholesterol. There were 3,247 vascular events among the people with diabetes during a mean follow-up period of 4.3 years. There was a 9% proportional reduction in all-cause mortality per mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol among the diabetes patients - similar to a 13% reduction among the people without diabetes, the researchers found.

There was a statistically significant one-fifth proportional reduction in major vascular events per mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol in participants with diabetes - a similar figure to that found among the participants without diabetes. The researchers explain that this relative-risk decrease was similar irrespective of vascular disease history, age, sex, and other baseline factors. After 5 years, 42 fewer diabetes patients per 1,000 allocated statin therapies had vascular events.

"The proportional benefits of statin therapy on major vascular events were similar in a wide range of individuals with diabetes, including those with no previous history of vascular disease, and benefits were similar to those observed in people without diabetes," the authors wrote.

They concluded that most people with diabetes should now be considered for statin therapy, unless, as is usually the case in children, their risk is low, or statin therapy has been shown to be unsuitable, as in pregnancy.

Statins effective for patients with breast-cancer risk:

According to a study leaded by Dr Vikas Khurana, assistant professor of medicine at Louisiana State University Health Science Center at Shreveport stated that, statin use between 556 women with a history of breast cancer and 39,865 women without the disease who served as controls. All women were female veterans in the South Central United States. Data were gathered
between October 1998 and June 2004.

After controlling for age, smoking, alcohol use and diabetes, the risk of breast cancer was 51% lower for statin users than for non-users. The median age was 56 years of these women 4771 (11.8%) were on statins. Breast cancer was seen in 556 (1.38)%) women in total. Statin users were less likely to develop breast cancer (odds ratio 0.49; P =< 0.0001).

Statins protect from death from pneumonia

Recently open Access journal Respiratory Research, suggest another beneficial use of statins, which are prescribed to an increasing number of patients to prevent and treat high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and vascular disease. Patients hospitalized because of pneumonia are at less risk of dying from the disease if they have been taking the widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs 'statins' before hospital admission.

According to study of Eric Mortensen and colleagues, from the University of Texas Health Centre at San Antonio, the risk of dying from pneumonia in patients admitted with pneumonia who were taking statins prior to their entry into hospital. They compared it with the risk of dying from the disease in pneumonia patients who were not taking statins.

The authors used the Pneumonia Severity Index to rate the risk of dying within 30 days of admission to hospital in the two groups of patients. The results of their statistical analysis show that patients who were on a statin when they entered hospital were 2.8 times less likely to die than patients who were not on statins.

Statins treatment for all type2 diabetics All type 2 diabetics are to be benefited from taking statins (cholesterol lowering drugs), even those cholesterol levels are normal. Their chances of ever developing heart disease or strokes would be significantly reduced, says the study.

According to this study leaded by Helen Colhoun, (University College, Dublin, Date 20 Aug 2004) carried out in the UK and Ireland, 2,838 diabetes 2 patients were given either Lipitor (10 milligrams per day) or a placebo. Four years later, after following up on the patients, the researchers found that the Lipitor patients were 35% less likely to have a heart attack or to die as a result of their heart stopping.

Stroke risk was 48% lower (than the placebo patients) they found that that those on Lipitor (a statin) reduced their chances of having a heart attack by over stroke by nearly 50% and any form of cardiovascular disease by over 30%.

Management of heart disease or hypertension in patients with diabetics by Statins:

The ACP's (American College of Physicians) new guidelines recently advises that almost all diabetic patients who have heart disease or hypertension, a high cholesterol count, are obese or smoke, should be on cholesterol lowering drugs (Crestor, Lipitor, Pravachol, Zocor). Top doctors say that about 60% of patients with Type 2 diabetes will die of heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Snow said "The surprising result of those studies was that even if you had near-normal cholesterol to start with, and took a statin drug to lower it even more, you still got benefits. That tells you that it's not just lowering the cholesterol that's good -- it's being on that statin, too. Something else is going on."

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