New figures from the Department of Health (DH) show that premature deaths from coronary heart disease in England have fallen by 35.9 per cent - over a third - since 1996.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes.
The report, 'The coronary heart disease national service framework: Shaping the future - progress report for 2006', also states that the Joint British Societies' (JBS) new tighter targets on cholesterol levels to help tackle cardiovascular disease should be ignored until December 2007, when the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) publishes their detailed guidance on cholesterol management.
"People with diabetes spend 1.2 million days in hospital each year because of heart disease and strokes. A reduction in premature deaths from coronary heart disease is welcome news,” said Cathy Moulton, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK.
"Nevertheless, we are worried by the fact that when it comes to cholesterol guidance, the Department of Health still ignores the revised tighter guidelines to tackle cardiovascular disease recently set by the JBS.
"The health of people with diabetes could be at stake while doctors have to wait for NICE to confirm what is obvious from the evidence."