Statins Linked to Increased Risk of Diabetes
What Are Statins?
Statins are powerful drugs that reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood by limiting the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver.
To do this, statins block the enzyme that is responsible for making cholesterol, hydroxyl-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMG-CoA reductase).
However, according to researchers, these drugs are not without risk. In fact, researchers with the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies (CNODES) have determined that stroke and heart attack patients who started taking high-potency statins were 15 percent more likely to develop diabetes within two year of initiating treatment than similar patients taking low-potency statins.
About the Statin Study
Researchers analyzed record for 136,966 patients over the age of 40 in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Roughly two-thirds of the patients had been prescribed a high-potency statin treatment after suffering a major cardiovascular event such as a stroke or heart attack. High-potency statins were described as more than 10mg of rosuvastatin (Crestor), 20mg of atorvastatin (Lipitor), or 40mg of simvastatin (Zocor).
Data suggested that patients taking these medications are 15 percent more likely to develop diabetes over the two years following treatment initiation than patient taking low-potency statins.
Last year, Health Canada requested that manufacturers of statins update product labels to reflect an increased risk of risk of diabetes.
Other Statin Side Effects
The following side effects have also been reported in patients taking Crestor and Zocor
- Allergic reaction
- Upper respiratory infection
- Renal impairment
- Chronic bleeding
- Deterioration of the muscles (Rhabdomyolysis)
- Heart failure
- Kidney damage