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Opinion

ADA: Give statins to most diabetes patients

YOUR DOSE OF MEDICINE - Charles C. Chante MD - The Philippine Star

Most patients with diabetes should receive at least a moderate statin dosage regardless of their cardiovascular disease risk profile, according to the American Diabetes Association’s annual update to standards for managing patients with diabetes.

“Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2015” also shifts the ADA’s official recommendation on assessing patients for statin treatment from a decision based on blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol to a risk-based assessment. That change brings the ADA’s position in line with the approach advocated in late 2013 by guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA).

The ADA released the revised standards on Dec. 23.

The statin use recommendation is “a major change, a fairly big change in how we provide care, although not that big a change in what most patients are prescribed,” a primary care physician and researcher at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland and chair of the ADA’s Professional Practice Committee, the 14-member panel that produced the revised standards.

“Agree that the decision to start a statin should be based on a patient’s cardiovascular disease risk, and it turns out that nearly every patient with type 2 diabetes should be on a statin,.”

The revised standards recommend a “moderate” statin dosage for patients with diabetes who are aged 40-75 years, as well as those who are older than 75 years even if they have no other cardiovascular disease risk factors.

The dosage should be intensified to “ high” for patients with diagnosed cardiovascular disease, and for patients aged 40-75 years with other cardiovascular disease risk factors. For patients older than 75 years with cardiovascular disease risk factors, the revision calls for either a moderate or high dosage.

However, for patients younger than 40 years with no cardiovascular disease or risk factors, the revised standards call for no statin treatment, a moderate or high dosage for patients younger than 40 years with risk factors, and a high dosage for those with cardiovascular disease. The ADA’s recommendation for no statin treatment of the youngest and lowest-risk patients with diabetes is somewhat at odds with the 2013 ACC and AHA recommendations. For this patient group, those recommendations said, “statin therapy should be individualized on the basis of considerations of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk-reduction benefits, the potential for adverse effects and drug-drug interactions, and patient preferences.”

The new standards revision contains several other changes, including:

The recommended goal diastolic blood pressure for patients with diabetes was revised to less than 90 mm Hg, an increase from the 80-mm Hg target that had been in place. That change follows a revision in the ADA’s 2014 standards that increased the systolic blood pressure target to less than 140 mm Hg. Changing the diastolic target to less than 90 mm Hg was primarily a matter of following the best evidence that exists in the literature, because only lower -grade evidence supports a target of less than 80 mm Hg.

The revised standards also note that the new targets of less than 140/90 mm Hg put the standards “in harmonization” with the 2014 recommendations of the panel originally assembled at the Eighth Joint National Committee.

The recommended blood glucose target when measured before eating is now 80-130 mg/dL, with the lower limit increased from 70 mg/dL. That change reflects new data that correlate blood glucose levels with blood levels of hemoglobin A.

The body mass index cut point for screening overweight or obese Asian Americans is now 23 kg/m2, an increase from the prior 25 kg/m2.

A new section devoted to managing patients with diabetes during pregnancy draws together information that previously had been scattered throughout the standards document. The section discusses gestational diabetes management, as well as managing women who had preexisting type 1 or type 2 diabetes prior to becoming pregnant.

ACIRC

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION

ASIAN AMERICANS

CARDIOVASCULAR

DIABETES

DISEASE

EIGHTH JOINT NATIONAL COMMITTEE

PATIENTS

RISK

STANDARDS

STATIN

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