Diabetes Treatment That Could Save 100,000 Lives; Boost: All Patients Benefited

Article excerpt

Byline: Jenny Hope

TENS of thousands of lives could be saved by giving a drug that lowersblood pressure to everyone with diabetes, scientists have discovered.

Findings from the largest trial of its kind could revolutionise the treatmentoffered to Britain's 1.8million patients with type 2 diabetes.

At present, only those with high blood pressure are offered medication such asACE inhibitor and diuretic drugs.

But a five-year study has shown that using Coversyl Plus - a combination ofthese drugs - reduces the risk of death from heart-related problems and kidneyfailure by 18 per cent.

All patients, including those with normal blood pressure and those alreadytaking drugs to combat high blood pressure and cholesterol benefited fromCoversyl Plus.

Heart disease is the major cause of death in diabetes and researchers estimateone death could be avoided for every 80 patients treated with the drug for fiveyears.

This means that in the UK almost 25,000 lives could be saved over that periodby treating all diagnosed diabetics at a cost of 50p a day.

Diabetes is expected to affect three million Britons by the end of the decadeso up to 100,000 premature deaths could be prevented within a generation.Results from the study 100,000 lives received daily blood pressure-loweringwere released yesterday at the European Society of Cardiology annual meeting inVienna and published online in The Lancet medical journal.

Professor Stephen MacMahon, co-principal researcher at The George Institute forInternational Health in Sydney, said: 'The results should have majorimplications for guidelines, clinical care and public policies.

'They represent an important step forward in health care for the millions ofpeople with diabetes worldwide.

'This treatment reduced the likelihood of dying from the complications ofdiabetes by almost one-fifth, with virtually no side-effects.' More than 11,000patients with diabetes aged 55 and over from 20 countries, including the UK,took part in the five-year study. Half

Madonna 3,000,000 Britons are expected to suffer diabetes in the next threeyears received daily blood pressure-lowering treatment with Coversyl Plus, acombination of the ACE inhibitor perindopril, which works by relaxing the bloodvessels, and the diuretic indapamide. …