Statins Might Slightly Raise Diabetes Risk, But Are Still Worthwhile

Statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) are a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Dec 8, 2009

We'd all prefer it if there were no nasty side effects to our treatments, but that isn't always the case. Sometimes it is worth risking a side effect for the greater good of our health. On that note, researchers continue to emphasize that the benefits of cholesterol-lowering statins on heart disease far outweigh any risk that they might slightly increase the chance of developing diabetes. More studies needs to be done in this area, but in light of the fact that cardiovascular disease is responsible for nearly two-thirds of deaths in people with diabetes and is the number one killer of women in the United States, it seems better to stick with the statins.

Statins lower cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme in the body called HMG-CoA reductase, which typically works in the cholesterol synthesis pathway. Since most circulating cholesterol in the body comes from this internal manufacturing process, and not necessarily from what we eat, blocking or inhibiting cholesterol production in the liver can have a significant effect.

Researchers, led by Dr. Rajpathak of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, collected data from a Scottish trial and five other randomized placebo-controlled statin trials involving more than 57,000 adults. The number-crunching showed that after an average of not quite four years, 2,082 participants had developed diabetes. Without including the Scottish trial, there was a 13 percent increased relative risk of diabetes in people taking a statin. When the Scottish trial was included, the risk of diabetes with statin therapy dropped to six percent.

It is unclear why the Scottish trial had different results. The researchers, who published their findings in Diabetes Care, point out that other factors may have influenced the findings and are pursuing these important questions. Nevertheless, most doctors believe that even if the statins do slightly elevate the chances of developing diabetes, the benefit to heart health is worth the risk.

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SOURCE: American Diabetes Association/Reuter's Health

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Posted by uncle joe on 9 December 2009

I wonder if the discrepancy in the 2 studies is due to the research design. Interesting that NOW they are looking at other factors that could account for the difference. If one of the study was set up correctly and the other failed to control for the extraneous variables then no wonder there is a marked difference! There are many sloppy research, doctored research, falsified results, selective bias while pretending random selection that minimise the negatives and enhance the positives. Even the dishonest statistical gymnastics to impress opposed to evaluate is the use of relative risk versus absolute risk enhances the propaganda. I am confused about statins promoted while it raises diabetes which is also an inflammatory disease and diabetics die of circulatory diseases. While statins as lately been found have some anti inflammatory effect albeit on par with aspirin, it is like driving with the handbrake on the wheel will catch fire! Cholesterol-disease connection by the way based on the lipid hypothesis (still unsubstantiated) is a con. Natural dietary and supplements outperform statins without the damage of side effects, these anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances will mediate sub-clinical inflammation and what follows. To educate ourselves a good way to start to check out the website: I learned a lot!
Be well!

Posted by seashore on 31 December 2009

Cholesterol is an essentialo element of the body. It is particularly important in nerve function. Hence, it is not surprising that lowering cholesterol with statin drugs has produced serious neurological problems.

Statin drugs severely affect the chemical processes performed in the liver, and so can cause deadly liver damage.

Statin drugs have demonstrated a modest reduction in deaths due to coronary heart disese. However, this is probably the result of an anti-inflammatory effect of the drugs, not because of cholesterol reduction. Other cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as Zetia, have not demonstrated any reduction of coronary heart disease.

There are other substances that can reduce inflammation and coronary heart disease, such as fish oil, that are very much safer than statin drugs.

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