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Statins should be prescribed to most people with diabetes

Most people with diabetes should be considered for treatment with statins (cholesterol drugs), according to scientists. Researchers at Oxford University reviewed 90,000 people including nearly 20,000 with diabetes and found more people would benefit from statin treatment than previously thought.

The study, published in the Lancet, claims that statins reduce the risk of death from heart attack by a third.

Diabetes UK's view

“It is crucial people with diabetes are given access to the right treatment," said Simon O'Neill, Director of Care, Information and Advocacy of Diabetes UK.

"However, Diabetes UK does not recommend that everyone with diabetes should take statins.

People with Type 2 diabetes

"There is clear evidence that everyone with Type 2 diabetes should be considered for statin therapy, based on a comprehensive study that looked specifically at people with Type 2 diabetes.

Adults with Type 1, and children with diabetes

"However, there have been no such specific studies looking just at adults with Type 1 diabetes or children with diabetes and the impact that taking statins has on these groups.

"To address this, Diabetes UK is funding a five-year study looking specifically at whether or not the benefits of taking statins outweigh the risks for children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes.

"More research is needed to determine specifically whether or not all adults with Type 1 diabetes should be considered for statin therapy.

Heart disease

“However, we do not disagree with the findings published in The Lancet. Most people with diabetes are likely to benefit from taking statins because of their high risk of developing heart disease, but we need to have comprehensive research to back this up before we could recommend that all people with diabetes should be considered for statin therapy.

Good diabetes management

“Diabetes UK also strongly recommends that good diabetes management should rely not only on medication, but also on a healthy lifestyle and diet.”

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