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Study Reveals Cholesterol Drugs Cause Diabetes Risk

Armen Hareyan's picture

A collection of studies are raising red flags about whether cholesterol drugs, such as Lipitor, might cause a patient to have an increased risk of diabetes. The findings are alarming but not dangerous, as the percentages of people who developed diabetes, because of the cholesterol treatment drugs, is still low, but raises concern. The rate is around 9 percent, so what's the big deal?

The most important factor appears to be in the fact that the patients who acquired diabetes from the drugs were mostly age 60 and older. The clinical test results were taken from time periods between 1994 and 2009, which already show a general increase in diabetes as it is. The trails involved more 1,000 patients were taken from Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled trials.

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The number of participants totaled 91,140, of which 4,278 developed diabetes within in a 4 year period, or about 9 percent. Christopher Cannon, a Harvard Cardiologist, commented a "new risk of statins has been identified, the risk seems small and far outweighed by the benefits of this life-saving class of drugs."

Not taking the drugs could cause more harm than the risk of diabetes. The benefits of cholesterol fighting outweigh the diabetes risk. However, over 4,000 people out of less than 100,000 is still a significant number, which should create a small warning to those patients in case they are at-risk for diabetes because of other conditions or prescriptions.

The study published in the Lancet Journal comments “Statin therapy is associated with a slightly increased risk of development of diabetes, but the risk is low both in absolute terms and when compared with the reduction in coronary events. Clinical practice in patients with moderate or high cardiovascular risk or existing cardiovascular disease should not change.”

Source: Lancet Journal
Written by Amy Munday



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