Importance of Statin Therapy in Diabetes
High blood sugar levels over time can damage many parts of the body and lead to complications, including heart disease. Ultimately, heart disease is the number one cause of death in people with diabetes. Maintenance therapy with a statin medication is an important part of reducing chances of developing heart disease along with controlling sugar, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and not smoking. For these reasons, ensuring appropriate patients with diabetes are taking a statin is a national HEDIS measure instituted by the NCQA.
According to the 2018 American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, patients between the ages of 40-75 with diabetes should be prescribed a moderate-high intensity statin in addition to lifestyle therapy for cardio protection. In patients who do not tolerate the intended intensity of statin, the maximally tolerated statin dose should be used. Less frequent dosing may also provide a benefit in those who have experienced adverse effects.
Key benefits to statin therapy in patients with diabetes ages 40-75:
- 48% decreased risk of stroke
- 36% decreased risk of heart attack
- 37% decreased risk of any other major cardiovascular event
Helpful resources for physicians and patients: