The finding backs the inclusion of cholesterol in the diabetes domain of the quality framework.
The recommendation follows a meta-analysis of 8,686 patients with diabetes and 71,370 without it who took part in 14 statin trials. During a follow-up of 4.3 years, 3,247 of the diabetes patients suffered vascular events.
However, for every mmol/l reduction in LDL cholesterol, diabetes patients had a 21 per cent reduction in major vascular events.
This reduction in risk was similar irrespective of history of vascular disease and age.
After five years of therapy, there were 42 fewer cases of vascular events per 1,000 diabetic patients prescribed statin therapy.
GPs can earn up to three points for measuring cholesterol levels in diabetic patients.
Lancet 2008; 371: 117-25, link to the paper at www.healthcarerepublic.com
Statins for diabetes
After five years of statin therapy there were 42 fewer cases of vascular events per 1,000 diabetic patients