Many patients with type 2 (late-onset; non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus present with no symptoms, or become asymptomatic once treatment is started. Consequently, the condition is often regarded as trivial. In reality, the long-term outlook is poor, with 30% of patients developing one or more clinical complications within 10 years of diagnosis.1 Such complications include macrovascular disease (e.g. myocardial infarction, stroke), microvascular disease (e.g. retinopathy, nephropathy) and neuropathy. In this article, we examine the role of hypoglycaemic, antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs in preventing these complications.
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