Statins could protect against microvascular complications of diabetes

10 September 2014

Statins could play a role in protecting diabetic patients from the complications that can arise from their disease, including blindness and amputations.

This is according to research published in the The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology and is the first study to suggest that statins could reduce the risk of small blood vessel (microvascular) complications.

Statins have previously been linked to reducing cholesterol and lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers examined whether statins could reduce microvascular complications in more than 60,000 patients. It found that people who used statins were 34 per cent less likely to have diabetic neuropathy, 40 per cent less likely to suffer diabetic retinopathy and had a 12 per cent lower risk of gangrene.

Study author Professor Borge G Nordestgaard, chief physician in Clinical Biochemistry at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, said: "Since high levels of blood glucose, the hallmark of diabetes, are linked with microvascular disease, and since statins are suspected of raising glucose levels, we tested the hypothesis that individuals taking a statin before a diagnosis of diabetes might be at increased risk of developing microvascular complications."

Posted by Edward Bartel​

 

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