Researchers from North Carolina State University and the Mayo Clinic have developed a computer model that is intended to determine the best time to begin using statin therapy in diabetes patients to help prevent heart disease and stroke.
According to the lead author, "The research is significant because patients with diabetes are at high risk for cardiovascular disease and statins are the single most commonly used treatment for patients at risk of heart disease and/or stroke."
The new model incorporates patient-specific data. An established risk model calculates each patient's probability of heart attack and stroke based on risk factors, such as their cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. This overall risk "score" is used to weigh the medical advantages of beginning statin therapy against the financial cost of the statins.