Another nail in the coffin of statins: They raise the risk of Type 2 diabetes by nearly a third
This dangerous junk was idolized by many medical commentators. Some wanted to put it in the water supply to dose up everyone on it. Statins do seem to help people who ALREADY have heart disease but evidence for their use as a preventive is dubious. A study of nearly 3,000 older adults found that giving them statins did not extend their lifespans nor did they get fewer heart attacks. Since old people are the high risk group, we have to ask if they do not benefit from statins, who would?
Taking statins increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by nearly a third, researchers found. A decade-long study of more than 3,200 patients found those who took statins were 30 per cent more likely to develop the condition.
Some six million Britons take statins every day to reduce their cholesterol and ward off heart disease.
The pills are proven lifesavers, slashing the chance of a repeat attack, yet a scientific row over benefits and side effects has dragged on for years.
Experts have long known there was a link between statins and diabetes – but doctors have always stressed that the advantages of the pills far outweigh the small chance of getting diabetes.
Previous research had put the chance of developing type 2 diabetes at no more than 10 to 12 per cent greater than if someone did not take statins. The latest study, however, suggests the medication increases the risk by 30 per cent.
The researchers, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, think this may be because statins impair insulin production. In the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, they called for regular blood sugar tests of people taking statins.
‘Glucose status should be monitored and healthy lifestyle behaviours reinforced in high-risk patients who are prescribed statins for cardiovascular disease [prevention],’ they wrote.
The scientists tracked overweight people already considered at risk of diabetes for ten years. At the start, 4 per cent took statins, but by the end roughly a third were taking the pills.
No link was found between the potency of the statins used and diabetes risk.
The researchers stressed that the additional risk of developing diabetes should be balanced against ‘the consistent and highly significant’ reduction in risk of heart attacks, strokes and death. Last night experts said that although the relative risk of diabetes may seem high, in reality the absolute numbers of people it would affect would be small.