Should All Diabetic Patients Be Treated With a Statin?
- From the Bert W. Strassburger Lipid Center, the Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.
- Corresponding author: Yehuda Kamari, .
The prevalence of diabetes for all age-groups worldwide was estimated to be 2.8% (171 million) in the year 2000, and the projected number could rise to 4.4% (366 million) in 2030 (1). This rapid rise is mainly attributable to the increase of diabetes. The continuing escalation of obesity and the metabolic syndrome contribute to the upsurge in frequency of diabetes (2,3).
Interestingly, the appreciation in the number of people >65 years of age was found to be the most important demographic change to diabetes prevalence around the world, indicating that the “diabetes epidemic” will continue even if levels of obesity remain constant. Therefore, it is likely that future diabetes preponderance is underestimated, given the growing frequency of obesity (1). Because the vast majority of diabetic patients have type 2 diabetes and almost all the studies were performed in such subjects, in this article, “type 2 diabetes” will be referred to as “diabetes.”
DIABETES AS A MAJOR RISK FACTOR FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the foremost causes of mortality and is a major contributor to morbidity for individuals with diabetes. In addition, diabetes is an independent risk factor for macrovascular disease, as are the common coexisting conditions (hypertension and dyslipidemia). The U.K. Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) evaluated baseline risk factors for coronary artery disease in patients with newly diagnosed diabetes without evidence of vascular disease. When comparing the relative contribution of the three modifiable coexisting conditions (dyslipidemia, hypertension, and hyperglycemia) with development of future coronary heart disease (CHD), the estimated hazard ratio (HR) for the upper third, relative to the lower third, for LDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and A1C were 2.26, 1.82, and 1.52, respectively (4). This finding supports the notion that dyslipidemia, and specifically LDL cholesterol, are major contributors to the increased CHD risk in patients with diabetes (4,5 …