OBJECTIVE Diabetes is associated with high risk of cardiovascular (CV) events, particularly in patients with dyslipidemia and diabetic complications. We investigated the incidence of CV events with intensive or standard lipid-lowering therapy in patients with hypercholesterolemia, diabetic retinopathy, and no history of coronary artery disease (treat-to-target approach). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In this multicenter, prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded end point study, eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to intensive statin therapy targeting LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) <70 mg/dL (n = 2,518) or standard statin therapy targeting LDL-C 100-120 mg/dL (n = 2,524). RESULTS Mean follow-up was 37± 13months. LDL-C at 36 months was 76.5± 21.6mg/dL in the intensive group and 104.1 ± 22.1 mg/dL in the standard group (P < 0.001). The primary end point events occurred in 129 intensive group patients and 153 standard group patients (hazard ratio [HR] 0.84 [95% CI 0.67-1.07]; P = 0.15). The relationship between the LDL-C difference in the two groups and the event reduction rate was consistent with primary prevention studies in patients with diabetes. Exploratory findings showed significantly fewer cerebral events in the intensive group (HR 0.52 [95% CI 0.31-0.88]; P = 0.01). Safety did not differ significantly between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS We found no significant decrease in CV events or CV-associated deaths with intensive therapy, possibly because our between-group difference of LDL-C was lower than expected (27.7 mg/dL at 36 months of treatment). The potential benefit of achieving LDL-C <70 mg/dL in a treat-to-target strategy in high-risk patients deserves further investigation.
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