, Volume 65, Issue 4, pp 433–445 | Cite as

Pharmacological Strategies to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

An Update
  • Marcel M. C. Hovens
  • Jouke T. Tamsma
  • Edith D. Beishuizen
  • Menno V. Huisman
Leading Article


Morbidity and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus is largely dominated by the occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Treatment of known risk factors of CVD has proven to be beneficial in terms of reduction in risk of major CVD events in the general population. Recent trials have provided information on the treatment of hyperglycaemia, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and platelet aggregation in the patient with type 2 diabetes.

Strict glycaemic control is not associated with a significant reduction in CVD risk, although new hypoglycaemic agents may offer additional benefits. In contrast, it has been demonstrated that treatment of hypertension and dyslipidaemia significantly reduce cardiovascular risk. Meticulous control of blood pressure to a level ≤130/80mm Hg, preferably using renin-angiotensin system-modulating agents, is of proven value. Use of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) as low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol-lowering therapy, initiated at a level of ≥2.60 mmol/L is firmly established. Recent trials lend support to lowering the target level for LDL-cholesterol-lowering therapy to <1.81 mmol/L. Mainly based on risk analogy, international guidelines advocate the use of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) in the primary prevention of CVD in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, there is no support from large trials that the estimated 25% risk reduction in primary prevention in a high-risk population is the same in the subgroup with diabetes.

An intensified approach in order to identify and treat cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes, stratified to individual patients, is necessary to reduce the excess cardiovascular burden of these patients.


Clopidogrel Atorvastatin Fenofibrate Ezetimibe Fibric Acid Derivative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcel M. C. Hovens
    • 1
  • Jouke T. Tamsma
    • 1
  • Edith D. Beishuizen
    • 1
  • Menno V. Huisman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General Internal MedicineLeiden University Medical CentreLeiden, C01-Rthe Netherlands

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