A cholesterol-lowering drug cuts heart and stroke risks by 30 per cent in diabetic women, according to a new study.

A cholesterol-lowering drug significantly reduces the risk of heart disease in women with type-2 diabetes, a new study shows.

Treatment with fenofibrate cuts the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 30 per cent in women and 13 per cent in men, according to University of Sydney researchers.

A previous smaller US study had suggested that fenofibrate was not beneficial for women, the authors wrote in their study published in Diabetologia.

“This new study recommends that fenofibrate be considered as a useful way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in both women and men with type-2 diabetes,” they wrote.

Their five-year study involved nearly 10,000 people with type-2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) encompasses conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and diseases of the small blood vessels, such as in the eyes and kidneys.

CVD is the most common cause of death in women, almost three times more common than breast cancer, said Associate Professor Michael d’Emden of the Royal Brisbane Hospital, who co-led the study with Professor Anthony Keech from the University of Sydney.