Patients with type 2 diabetes who have a high risk of cardiovascular disease commonly experience statin intolerance or ineffectiveness following treatment modifications, according to new research.
Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs that are frequently used to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks among patients with diabetes. They work by lowering levels of LDL cholesterol, known as “bad” cholesterol.
Type 2 diabetes is commonly linked to higher cholesterol levels, and researchers from Amgen Inc. sought to evaluate how lipid-lowering treatment (cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid) affected over six million adults with type 2 diabetes between January 1, 2007 and June 30, 2011. Data was taken from the IMS LifeLink Pharmetrics Plus commercial claims database.
Participants were grouped by age: younger than 65, or older than 65; and divided into three high-risk category groups: history of cardiovascular events, two risk factors of cardiovascular disease and being aged 40 years or older.
Among participants who were younger than 65 in all three groups, 65.6 to 77.6 per cent began moderate-intensity statin treatment while 7.7 per cent to 25.2 per cent started with high-intensity statin treatment.

Respectively, 81.4 and 51.8 per cent of those with a history of a CV event had one or two treatment modifications respectively. These figures were 75.6 and 44.4 per cent for those with two risk factors and 77.9 and 47.1 per cent for those aged 40 or older.
The researchers noted that among all patients, 23.2 to 28.4 per cent had possible statin intolerance and/or ineffectiveness after accounting for second treatment modification.
The authors concluded: “Among patients with type 2 diabetes with high cardiovascular disease risk, index statin treatment modifications that potentially imply possible statin intolerance and/or ineffectiveness were frequent.
“Better management of these patients with diabetes is warranted to reduce their CVD risk.”
This study was published in the BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care.

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