Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) afflicts nearly 16 million persons in the U.S. Forty million people have impaired glucose tolerance and thus have a 10% annualized risk of developing type 2 DM. These prevalence rates are estimated to double within the next two decades. At-risk groups appear to be the elderly and minorities including African, Hispanic and Native Americans. While the epidemiologic underpinnings for this increase are not fully realized, there has been a parallel increase in societal obesity, sedentary lifestyle and a marked increase in type 2 DM among children. Although there have recently been noteworthy advances in the field of cardiovascular medicine, cardiovascular case fatalities remain the leading cause of death among diabetic patients. According to national health statistics, there continues to be a downward trend in cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. This observation has not been consistently noted among patients with DM and has led many to re-evaluate current treatment goals and pharmacologic regimens for the at-risk patients with type 2 DM. This shifting treatment paradigm for diabetic patients has led to a ratcheting down of targeted risk factor goals including low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and serum glucose levels with a requisite increase in the number of pharmacologic agents being administered. This review focuses on the current adjunctive pharmacologic treatment regimen that is well suited for patients with type 2 DM.
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