A study has found that people taking prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins had at least double the risk of developing type-2 diabetes
This is what researchers from Ohio State University found when they analysed the health records of thousands of patients in a private insurance plan in the Midwest.
Cholesterol statin medication
Researchers found that those who took statins, a class of drugs that can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, for more than two years had more than three times the risk of diabetes.
The study included 4 683 men and women who did not have diabetes, were candidates for statins based on heart disease risk and had not yet taken the drugs at the start of the study. About 16 per cent of the group – 755 patients – were prescribed statins during the study period, which ran from 2011 until 2014. The participants’ average age was 46.
“The fact that increased duration of statin use was associated with an increased risk of diabetes – something we call a dose-dependent relationship – makes us think that this is likely a causal relationship,” says Victoria Zigmont, who led the study.
Researchers also found that statin users were 6,5 per cent more likely to have a troublingly high HbA1c value – a routine blood test for diabetes that estimates average blood sugar over several months.
Should you stop your medication?
The answer is no, not without discussing it with your doctor.
Zigmont says statins are very effective in preventing heart attacks and strokes. “I would never recommend that people stop taking the statin they’ve been prescribed based on this study, but it should open up further discussions about diabetes prevention, and patient and provider awareness of the issue.”
What should you do?
Randall Harris, a study co-author and professor of medicine and public health at Ohio State, says the results suggest that individuals taking statins should be followed closely to detect changes in glucose metabolism and should receive special guidance on diet and exercise for prevention.
Source: Ohio State University via www.sciencedaily.com
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