The Food and Drug Administration has approved widening the pool of people who can take the popular cholesterol drug Lipitor to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack to many diabetics who have risk factors for heart disease, the drug's manufacturer announced Tuesday.
Pfizer also said the FDA approved Lipitor to reduce the chance of stroke in people without diabetes but who have multiple other risk factors.
People considered at higher risk for stroke include those who are 55 or older, smoke, are obese or have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, a family history of stroke, or diabetes.
A study of 2,800 patients with Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the condition, near normal cholesterol, and at least one other risk factor for stroke showed that patients on Lipitor suffered 50 percent fewer strokes than those taking a placebo, Pfizer said. Another study of people with multiple risk factors for stroke found that Lipitor reduced the risk of stroke by 26 percent compared to those taking a placebo, AP reports.