AIMS: Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in type 2 diabetes (T2DM), at huge cost to the NHS. We investigated the potential effect on population cardiovascular risk and associated costs of single and multi-factorial intervention, to target levels, in individuals with T2DM. METHODS: Baseline population means and proportions for cardiovascular risk factors were calculated for 159 patients with T2DM from 3 general practices. Predicted 10year cardiovascular risk, and associated costs were calculated using the LIP2687 risk calculator, based on Framingham and UKPDS equations. Systolic blood pressure, HbA(1C), total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol were altered to NICE and SIGN target levels and the model run again. The difference in outcomes was observed. RESULTS: 45%, 76% and 38% of patients met NICE targets for cholesterol, systolic blood pressure and HbA1c, respectively. As expected, comparing the two guidelines, fewer patients met the 'stricter' targets (P=0.0001). Treatment-to-target produced no significant difference in cardiovascular risk or costs, although greater reductions in outcomes were seen with multi-factorial intervention. CONCLUSION: This small study suggests that intervention in only those patients with the highest cardiovascular risk brings little reduction in population cardiovascular risk and associated health costs. Multi-factorial intervention in all patients with T2DM, regardless of baseline values, is likely to bring greater reductions. This raises the question as to whether the current emphasis on treatment to target should be modified to encourage multi-factorial intervention in all patients with T2DM, even those with baseline values below target levels.

Original publication




Journal article


Prim Care Diabetes

Publication Date





67 - 73


Cardiovascular Diseases, Coronary Disease, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Diabetic Angiopathies, Female, Health Care Costs, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Morbidity, Myocardial Infarction, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Risk Factors, Risk Reduction Behavior, Sex Distribution, Smoking, Stroke, United Kingdom