Why You Need To Know Statins Can Increase Diabetes Risk
Statin use to help lower cholesterol in the blood, is now linked to an elevated risk of Type 2 Diabetes among high-risk (i.e. overweight) individuals, reports Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs prescribed to decrease cardiovascular risks, but the drugs have recently been associated with the development of Type 2 Diabetes.
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A group of 8,567 men & women averaging 64 years of age were studied by researchers. None of the test subjects were diabetic and/or taking statin drugs at the time the study had begun.
The study included an intensive lifestyle program, statin treatment or a placebo drug. Test subjects were then evaluated after 15 years. During the 15-year period, approximately 12% of the test subjects started taking statin drugs (which they took for more than a year). After the 15-year period and upon completion of the evaluation, it was observed that 716 new cases of diabetes was the measurement made by researchers.
After factors like family history of diabetes, gender, smoking and age were considered, it was found that statin use was associated with a 38% increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes development compared to those who did not take the drugs.
Specific factors like the actual dosage and brand of statin medication used did not make any difference to the study, but the risk was a lot higher in statin users who had a higher BMI (Body Mass Index i.e. overweight or obese subjects).
Researchers added however, that the potential increased risk of Diabetes should always be weighed against any benefits of statins, which may include reduced risk of a heart attack and stroke in certain individuals.
“We don’t want to scare people about statins,” said lead researcher, Fariba Ahmadizar of Erasmus University. “Their benefits in cardiovascular disease prevention are well known. But we want people to understand their risks in the presence of diabetic symptoms or overweight and obesity.”