Drugs May Lower Heart Disease Risk in Diabetics

The number one cause of death among diabetics is coronary (heart) artery disease because high glucose levels in the blood can cause buildup of plaque (a combination of cholesterol, calcium and other blood components). It is the plaque buildup in the blood stream that thickens the arteries and slows the flow of blood through the heart. If the process (the medical term is ischemia) continues, arteries in the heart often become clogged.

To help prevent this condition, physicians prescribe cholesterol lowering drugs and drugs that lower blood pressure (BP). The results of a study of over 400 adults with Type 2 (adult) diabetes were published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers evaluated the aggressive use of high blood pressure drugs and “statin-type” cholesterol lowering drugs in such a way as to reduce BP and LDL(low density liproprotein cholesterol) lower than is usually recommended. According to study results, thickening of arteries was reversed. Some researchers predict that this approach may lead to fewer heart attacks and strokes.