Popular Cholesterol Medication Linked to Diabetes Risk in Women by Maria Dorfner

Update:  Check this link out.  Connect the dots.  http://www.theheart.org/article/1339515.do

One in four Americans over age 45 take what’s called a statin to lower their cholesterol.  If you are reading this and you’re over age 45 and do not have high cholesterol — you’re one of the three out four lucky ones. I’d be willing to bet a cheese burger that what people eat has everything to do with it.  Change that and you won’t need the statins.  Back to the study.

The new study says this popular cholesterol drug can increase a woman’s risk of diabetes by almost fifty percent. Hmmm… So, let’s get this right. You have high cholesterol. You take a drug. Now, you have high cholesterol AND diabetes.  Sweet.  Pun intended.

The latest report is in The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of JAMA/Archives journals.  [Disclosure: I produced medical reports for JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association].

According to this seven year study reported in Archives of Internal Medicine, post-menopausal women who take statins,  have been found to have a higher risk of developing diabetes.

Seriously, it’s difficult for women on statins to know what to do because on one hand they’re being told they have an increased risk for diabetes and on the other they are being told the benefits outweigh the risk.

Here are some details on the study:

Researchers from various medical schools in Massachusetts and other US faculties, compared results from women prescribed statins and those who were not on those medications.

The study involved almost 154,000 women, over age fifty. They did not have diabetes when the study began. They learned the women who had been prescribed certain types of statins had a 48% higher chance of subsequently being diagnosed with diabetes, compared to their counterparts who were not on those medications.

The Women’s Health Initiative included almost 154,000 females over fifty years of age who did not have diabetes at baseline.

The study began in the mid-1990s.  Participants were asked to complete questionnaires which asked about their medication intake, including statins. Questions on diabetes risk factors including their nutrition, exercise level, weight, and lifestyle were included.

They were then tracked for seven years.  A total of 10,242 women developed diabetes, of whom 1 in every 14 had been on statins.

The authors say statin users should maintain a healthy body weight, exercise, and follow a healthy diet.

Dr. Duane Graveline, M.D., M.P.H. isn’t surprised by the results of this study.  He says, “Ever since Siddals and others first published the paper titled “Abrogation of Insulin-like Growth Factor-I (IGF-I) and Insulin Action by Mevalonic Acid Depletion” I had been waiting for this diabetes “shoe” to drop, reflecting yet another side effect of the statin class of drugs.”

Graveline says the higher the dose of statins, the higher the risk of diabetes.  However, the authors of the study claim the benefits of statins – cholesterol-lowering medications – still outweigh the risks.

Please check back at the end of day for more links to help you make an informed decision about your health.

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4 thoughts on “Popular Cholesterol Medication Linked to Diabetes Risk in Women by Maria Dorfner

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