Statins and ACE inhibitors may reduce the risk of developing diabetes related complications

Cambridge University is going to organize a new study of its own kind among young people suffering with type 1 diabetes. This study is supposed to be a vital study as this will determine if giving statins and/or ACE inhibitors to adolescents with type 1 diabetes could reduce their risk of developing diabetes-related complications in later life.

Type 1 diabetes is often associated with two devastating complications, cardiovascular diseases that affects the heart and circulatory system of the body, and kidney failure. These two complications with its side effects reduces life’s expectancy up to 20 years. Research says that, around 80% of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease and one in three people with diabetes will develop kidney disease. Early prevention of these devastating complications can help in improving long-term health and quality of life.

And so the researchers start searching new ways to prevent these vital complications and to ensure that people with this condition live a long and healthy life as possible. In previous studies statins and ACE inhibitors proved to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease in adults with diabetes, but in young people this was never tried.

And so as a first trial researchers started screening adolescents with type 1 diabetes to find 500 people with high protein (albumin) levels in their urine, which can indicate higher risk of heart and kidney disease in later life. They also want to identify 400 with lower protein levels who are deemed to be at low or medium risk of developing diabetes-related complications.

Then these high risk adolescents will be randomly splitted into four groups, each of whom will receive different treatments and will be followed up to five years. The lower-risk group will not be given any statins or ACE inhibitors, but will be followed for up to four years for comparison. Researchers will keep in touch with all participants for a further 5–10 years to determine the long-term effects of the treatments.

Professor David Dunger, Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Cambridge, said, diabetes significantly increases the risk of heart disease and is the leading cause of end stage kidney failure. This new study will help us to find out whether statins and ACE inhibitors can prevent these devastating complications in adolescents, at the earliest stage or not.

This long term international study which is meant to try and prevent high-risk 11–16-year-olds developing heart and kidney disease is being funded by leading health charities- Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).


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