Blood pressure and lipid lowering substantially benefit diabetes

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – The results of a recent meta-analysis suggest that lipid and blood pressure lowering in patients with type 2 diabetes results in substantial cardiovascular benefits.

To quantify the cardiovascular benefits of lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, Dr. Elbert S. Huang, of the University of Chicago, Illinois, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 18 randomized, controlled trials in type 2 diabetes or diabetes subgroups. The studies compared "the cardiovascular effects of intensive medication control of risk factor levels in standard therapy or placebo."

Cholesterol lowering (RR = 0.75) and blood pressure lowering (RR = 0.73) produced significant reductions in cardiac event rates, including coronary heart disease death and nonfatal myocardial infarction, according to the report in the December 1st issue of the American Journal of Medicine. Glucose lowering produced smaller, nonsignificant reductions in adverse events (RR = 0.87).

"We observed this pattern for all individual cardiovascular outcomes," Dr. Huang and colleagues note. "For cholesterol-lowering and blood-pressure lowering therapy, 69 to 300 person-years of treatment were needed to prevent one cardiovascular event," they add.

Based on these findings, Dr. Huang's group recommends that "efforts to improve the management of these risk factors should be vigorously supported."

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