Doctors at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Atlanta on Sunday got some surprising news on their first day of sessions. Researchers presented three studies revealing that some of the most widely prescribed medications to reduce the risk of heart disease in Type 2 diabetes patients appeared not to provide much benefit at all.
People with diabetes are twice as likely as nondiabetics to suffer a heart attack — most diabetes patients die of heart disease — and for years, physicians have used aggressive drug treatments to lower that risk. To that end, the goal has commonly been to lower blood sugar or control blood-sugar spikes after eating, lower triglycerides and reduce blood pressure in diabetes patients to levels closer to those of healthy, nondiabetic individuals. By using medication to treat these factors, which are linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke in other patients, doctors assumed they would also be reducing the risk in people with diabetes.