Monday, May 3, 2010

Drugs don't lower heart attack risk in diabetics

I wasn't aware of the findings of this study when it came out, but apparently drugs to lower blood pressure and cholesterol don't actually reduce the risk of heart attack in diabetics. Heart disease is a major risk for diabetics — more than twice the risk than for a non-diabetic. (I personally think this statistic is skewed by the prevalence of type 2 diabetes — I am willing to bet the risk is lower for type 1 diabetics, and probably related more to the lifestyle problems that tend to occur with type 2 diabetes, such as poor diet and lack of exercise.)

Some of you may remember when I stopped taking Lipitor a couple of years ago. My cholesterol has been fine without it — a little higher than the target numbers for diabetics, but not high enough to warrant subjecting my body to a drug with potentially harmful side effects, in my opinion.

You'll notice though that the article has a quick disclaimer that diabetics shouldn't stop taking their medication without consulting their doctor first. While I do agree that you should never make major changes to your diet or treatment regiment based on one article, I also think that well-informed and educated people do have the right to make a decision without their doctor, if said doctor is stuck in the Dark Ages.

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