In a statement issued by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), it was recommended that all people suffering from diabetes should be taking statins, as research showed that the evidence for their effectiveness in reducing cardiovascular risk in diabetics, and even people without diabetes, is incontrovertible.
Professor John Betteridge, of University College London Medical School, pointed out at the EASD annual meeting that all people with diabetes should be taking statins to reduce their chances of having a heart attack or stroke, although he also warned that they should avoid any drug interactions with other medications being taken.
Betteridge has analysed a number of studies into the use of statins, such as the Collaborative AtoRvastatin Diabetes Study (CARDS), funded by Diabetes UK, the Department of Health and Pfizer, which examined their benefits in people with type 2 diabetes who did not already have evidence of cardiovascular disease .
In the CARDS study, atorvastatin 10mg/day was shown to reduce major cardiovascular events by 37 per cent and strokes by 48 per cent, reinforcing guidelines issued by the Joint British Society (JBS) regarding targets for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in this high-risk group.
Betteridge argues that statins are safe if taken appropriately and drug interactions avoided, as they can lead to serious side effects, especially when patients are on a variety of drug treatments. Statins should also not be used by pregnant women at least six weeks before conception.
He realises that statins don’t always get a good press, and that many diabetics will be wary of this advice, but he points out that the evidence shows them to be highly effective in preventing major vascular events in patients with diabetes.

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