Statins Can Double the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

statins can double the risk of type 2 diabetes

New research has found that people taking statins have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. More and more people are taking statins to lower their cholesterol levels.

Many people take the cholesterol-lowering drugs in an attempt to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. Although statins can lower cholesterol levels, this is often accompanied by side effects such as muscle pain and headache. A new study now also adds type 2 diabetes to this list.
The research conducted by Victoria Zigmont of the Ohio State University in Columbus has been published in the journal Diabetes Metabolism Research and Review .

Zigmont and her team examined the health records of 4683 men and women who were free of diabetes at the start of the study, but who had an increased risk of heart disease. Of the total number of participants, 755 people, or 16%, took statins at the start of the study.
To keep the research results reliable, the researchers compensated the results for disturbing factors such as gender, lifestyle, ethnicity, education, cholesterol, triglyceride levels, body mass index (BMI), hip size and how often the participants visited their doctor.

The analysis revealed that statin swallowers were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than twice as often as those who did not take medication. It even turned out that people who took statins for more than 2 years had a three times higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
The fact that the duration of statin use is associated with an increased risk of diabetes - something scientists call a dose-dependent relationship - makes us think that this is a causal relationship.
The researchers also discovered that statin users had a 6.5% higher blood sugar level. This was determined on the basis of the HbA1c value in the blood.

Zigmont does not advise you to stop taking statins immediately without the intervention of a doctor. This study opens the way to discussion about the prevention of diabetes and possible alternatives.

Strengths and weaknesses of this study

This study is quite strong, because not only a large group of people had been examined, but also because practical information from doctors was used. Because a lot of information is known before, during and after the study, that made it possible to map the effects of statin use. This medical data allowed the researchers to determine the effect of the statins.
A weak point in the study, moreover, is that the researchers were unable to determine whether each patient actually complied with the doctor's prescriptions. The study made use of data from individuals who were regularly examined by their health center, making it impossible to include data from outside this group in the study. All participants were of the white race, which means that the results may be different for other groups. There is also no compensation for the use of other medicines. Further research will have to further map the relationship between statins and side effects. ( source )

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