New Model May Reduce Risk of Heart Attacks and Stroke for Diabetes Patients

ISE Professor Brian Denton has teamed up with researchers from the Mayo Clinic to create a new computer-based model that determines the best time for diabetes patients to begin statin therapy, a drug class used to lower cholesterol levels. Because of its cholesterol lowering effects, statin therapy is helpful in preventing heart disease and stroke for individuals, especially with diabetes. This model predicts when a patient should undergo statin therapy by calculating the probability of heart attack and stroke by using patient-specific data, such as cholesterol and blood pressure.

The model may benefit both doctors and patients. Previously, doctors may have begun statin therapy on a patient whose risk level determines they didn’t need the medication. This frees up the time the doctor would have spent on initiating the treatment and follow up with the patient, allowing time to address other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

This model has not made its way into a hospital yet, but Dr. Denton and his research team have plans to develop a pilot program soon.

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