According to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on April 28, statin drugs commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol drugs can actually double the risk of diabetes.
The study was conducted by a group of researchers from the VA North Texas Health System and the Unoversity of Texas Southwestern.
Similar studies have outlined the connection between statins and increased diabetes rate, but the latest study was the first to show that these drugs increase the risk of developing diabetes even in healthy people that are not predisposed to the aforementioned disease.
“In our study, statin use was associated with a significantly higher risk of new-onset diabetes, even in a very healthy population,” says Ishak Mansi, the lead author. “The risk of diabetes with statins has been known, but up until now it was thought that this might be due to the fact that people who were prescribed statins had greater medical risks to begin with.”
Diabetes complications are also likely to occur
Researchers have examined the medical records of 26,000 people included in the military health system Tricare in the period between October 2003 and March 2012. A particular robust method of data analysis was used to obtain proper results. This method is commonly known as propensity score matching.
Researchers matched 3,351 statin users with an equal group of people who do not use such drugs and appear to have similarities in about 42 health and demographic variables. This has shown to be quite an effective way of ruling out confounding factors.
The particular analysis showed statin-users experienced an 87 percent higher risk of diabetes. The diabetes they have developed was also more serious.
The results also showed that people who use statins are 250 percent more liely to develop diabetes complications than those who do not use these drugs.
This study was the first to reveal the link between statins and diabetes complications. It confirmed certain prior results and also found that statin-users are 14 percent more likely to gain weight.
In another more conventional analysis the roughly 4,000 statin users were compared to 22,000 non-users, while researchers maintained particular risk factors under control. The analysis showed that statin users are 100 percent more likely to develop diabetes than people who do not take the drugs.
Both analysis showed that the dose of statins an individual takes increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and diabetes complications.
Introduce lifestyle changes
Mansi explains that short-term trials involved into the drug approval may not”fully describe the risks and benefits of long-term statin use.”
He also added that patients should be aware of the risks of the drugs they are given.
“Knowing the risks may motivate a patient to quit smoking, rather than swallow a tablet, or to lose weight and exercise,” Mansi explains.”Ideally, it is better to make those lifestyle changes and avoid taking statins if possible.”
Statins are dangerous and they do not reduce the risk of heart disease or death. Certain studies suggest that statins could possibly increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Even though statins do reduce cholesterol, latest findings say that blood cholesterol is nothing more than a simple marker of heart disease risk and not the particular cause of the disease.
Recently, the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology published a study according to which benefits provided by statins are largely exaggerated, and the risks they bring are downplayed. The analysis also showed that statins can reduce cardiovascular diseases by only 1 percent. Any benefits supported by drug advocates are “statistical deception.”
“The adverse effects suffered by people taking statins are more common than reported in the media and at medical conferences,” the researchers explained. “Increased rates of cancer, cataracts, diabetes, cognitive impairments and musculoskeletal disorders more than offset the modest cardiovascular benefits of statin treatment.”