Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of people with diabetes. People with diabetes are three times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without diabetes.
There is a direct relationship between cholesterol levels and heart disease regardless of baseline LDL (Low Density Cholesterol, the Bad one).
Beyond lifestyle changes, statin medications are the standard for reducing cholesterol. Lipitor (Atorvastatin) Crestor (Rosuvastatin), Zocor (Simvastatin) & Pravachol (Pravastatin) are the most commonly used statins.
Besides lowering cholesterol, statins prevent heart attacks and strokes by stabilizing arterial plaque, reducing inflammation & stabilizing the inner lining of arteries.
The American Diabetes Association recommends:
- A moderate dose of a statin medication for people with diabetes, without any other risk factors for heart disease. Goal LDL goal below 100
- A high statin dose is recommended for people with diabetes who already have heart disease. Goal LDL goal below70.
- A statin medication for those patients with diabetes and other risk factors for heart disease. Goal LDL below 100.
Heart disease risk factors include:
- Having Diabetes
- Smoking, or having ever smoked
- Elevated LDL Cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
- Less than 30 minutes of Exercise each day
- Greater than 12 Alcohol drinks a week
- A Diet high in fats and sweet, and low in fresh fruit, vegetables and fiber
- Unhealthy Weight (BMI >30)
- Family History of heart disease or stroke
Should you have any questions regarding heart disease and statins, please contact your IMA Provider.