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OBJECTIVE: This study aims to establish the benefits of lowering cholesterol in diabetic patients with well-controlled hypertension and average/below-average cholesterol concentrations, but without established coronary disease. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In the lipid-lowering arm of the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT-LLA), 10,305 hypertensive patients with no history of coronary heart disease (CHD) but at least three cardiovascular risk factors were randomly assigned to receive 10 mg atorvastatin or placebo. Effects on total cardiovascular outcomes in 2,532 patients who had type 2 diabetes at randomization were compared. RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 3.3 years, concentrations of total and LDL cholesterol among diabetic participants included in ASCOT-LLA were approximately 1 mmol/l lower in those allocated atorvastatin compared with placebo. There were 116 (9.2%) major cardiovascular events or procedures in the atorvastatin group and 151 (11.9%) events in the placebo group (hazard ratio 0.77, 95% CI 0.61-0.98; P = 0.036). For the individual components of this composite end point, the number of events occurring in the diabetes subgroup was small. Therefore, although fewer coronary events (0.84, 0.55-1.29; P = 0.14) and strokes (0.67, 0.41-1.09; P = 0.66) were observed among the patients allocated atorvastatin, these reductions were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Atorvastatin significantly reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events and procedures among diabetic patients with well-controlled hypertension and without a history of CHD or markedly elevated cholesterol concentrations. The proportional reduction in risk was similar to that among participants who did not have diagnosed diabetes. Allocation to atorvastatin prevented approximately 9 diabetic participants from suffering a first major cardiovascular event or procedure for every 1,000 treated for 1 year.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Care

Publication Date





1151 - 1157


Adult, Aged, Atorvastatin, Cholesterol, LDL, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Female, Heptanoic Acids, Humans, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Hyperlipidemias, Hypertension, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Infarction, Pyrroles, Risk Factors, Stroke