Medication to Lower Cholesterol May Double the Risk of Diabetes

A new study has found that medication to lower cholesterol could increase a patient’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost double the amount than those who don’t take it.

Cholesterol-lowering statins are a class of drugs that can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, helping to contain risk of cardiovascular problems like strokes or heart attacks.

ANI reports Victoria Zigmont, who led the study, as saying:

"“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.”" - Victoria Zigmont

Published in Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, the study found that those who took the cholesterol-lowering drugs for more than two years had more than three times the risk of diabetes.

Researchers looked at medical records and other data from patients to establish that efforts to mitigate effects of one disease could be leading to another major condition.

"“That said, 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.”" - Victoria Zigmont

Statin use was also observed to be 6.5 percent more likely to have a high HbA1c value — which is a blood test for diabetes to measure average blood sugar over months.

However, a variety of factors should be considered, Zigmont said. Gender, age, ethnicity, education level, body mass index and waist conference — all could be significant.

It is advisable to pay special attention to patients taking statins and they should be given special guidance on diet and exercise, study co-author and professor of medicine said.

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