Take Statins? What You Need To Know About Diabetes Risk
Statin medications (statins) are drugs that help lower cholesterol levels in the blood to help prevent coronary heart disease for those at risk or who already have experienced some form of cardiovascular disease. Statins do carry certain risks that need balanced and managed through ongoing physician monitoring. A recent study highlights how important it is to manage diabetes risk factors when taking statins. New study examines statin-diabetes link A higher than previously documented risk of Type 2 diabetes with statin use was recently reported in the journal Diabetologia. Various past studies have found a zero to 36 percent higher risk of developing diabetes while taking statins. An average risk of developing diabetes on statins is reported at approximately 9% in meta-analyses. This latest study determined that men taking statins had a 46 percent higher risk of diabetes than those not on statins. Additionally, statin use was associated with a 24 percent reduction in insulin sensitivity and a 12 percent reduction in insulin secretion. Some previous studies evaluated fasting blood sugar, while this study applied more precise A1C and glucose tolerance tests. Michael Rocco, MD, Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Stress Testing, Section of Preventive Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic, reviewed the findings (he did not participate in the research). Dr. Rocco noted that the people who developed diabetes while taking statins were older, had a higher Body Mass Index (BMI), and a much higher incidence of cardiovascular disease. “It does look like people who have increased incidence of Type 2 diabetes on statins tend to be those already at highest risk for diabetes development,” says Dr. Rocco. Who should be concerned The following individuals should be extra diligent Continue reading >>
Certain Statins Are Linked To Diabetes. Is Yours?
Q My doctor says that I need to take a statin drug to lower my cholesterol. But I’ve heard that statins can cause diabetes. Do I need to be concerned? A That depends on what statin your doctor has prescribed. You probably know that statins can have some very serious side effects, such as muscle aches, liver problems and perhaps impaired memory. Some research also has found that statins can increase your risk of developing a very common and potentially deadly disease—diabetes. Now, thanks to a major study, we’ve learned that all statins are not created equal when it comes to diabetes risk. As it turns out, some are significantly riskier than others. STUDYING STATINS UP NORTH Statin drugs reduce blood cholesterol levels by interfering with an enzyme that helps the liver make cholesterol. However, different types of statins work in slightly different ways, and their effects on the body vary somewhat. Earlier studies suggested that statins in general made people more likely to get diabetes—but that one type, pravastatin (Pravachol), made people less likely to get diabetes. So for the new study, researchers set out to determine more specifically how the most commonly used types of statins affected the risk for diabetes. With access to health and pharmacy records of 1.5 million older Canadians, researchers identified 471,250 people age 66 and older who did not have diabetes when they first started taking statins. Then they followed each statin user for up to five years to see which ones got diabetes. (Though this study took place in Canada, the same statin drugs are prescribed in the US.) Since the earlier study had suggested that patients taking pravastatin had a lower risk for diabetes compared with people taking a placebo, in the new study the researchers used prav Continue reading >>
Do Statins Increase Type 2 Diabetes Risk?
I read that taking rosuvastatin (Crestor) may increase the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Is this true for other statins? I'm a 55-year-old woman who is taking a low dose of Lipitor. My last fasting blood sugar showed that I'm at a pre-diabetes stage. You are correct. There is concern that at least two of the statin drugs, Crestor and simvastation (Zocor), are associated with an increased risk of the development of type 2 diabetes. A recent meta-analysis (pooled data from several studies) suggests there may be one additional case of diabetes for every 498 patients treated. However, statin therapy prevented one major cardiovascular event (stroke or heart attack) for every 155 patients treated. Every medicine that we take has potential benefit and potential risk. A reasoned and individual decision needs to be made between the health care provider and the patient regarding what is best. The risks of statins include a small incidence of liver and muscle problems which almost always resolve with stopping the medicine. Besides the recent link to type 2 diabetes, there is also some work that indicates statins occasionally cause reversible memory problems. On the plus side, there is no doubt that statins decrease cholesterol build up in the blood vessels that go the heart and the brain. They can even help "melt away" plaque build-up that is already there. When those vessels get clogged, heart attacks and strokes can occur. In a study recently published, people on statins when their cancer was diagnosed (as compared to those not on statins) had better survival and less metastatic disease. Statin use has also been associated with less Parkinson's disease and less Alzheimer's disease. The higher your risk for cardiovascular events, the more absolute benefit is derived from stati Continue reading >>
Statins Linked To Raised Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
HealthDay Reporter WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may significantly increase a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study from Finland suggests. Researchers found that statins were associated with an almost 50 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even after adjusting for other factors. Statins appear to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in several ways, the researchers said. One is that the drugs can increase a person's insulin resistance, and the other is that the cholesterol-lowering drugs seem to impair the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin, according to the report. Commenting on the study, Dr. Ronald Goldberg, director of the Lipid Disorder Clinic and associate director of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami, said the researchers "show evidence that statins increased insulin resistance, and that the people who developed diabetes appeared to have less ability to respond to the insulin resistance by making more insulin." The study authors noted, however, that their research only found an association between statin use and diabetes risk. And since the study was limited to white men, it's not clear if the findings would apply to women or other racial groups. More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin, a hormone needed to process the sugars found in foods. To compensate, the body produces more insulin. Excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle are two important risk factors for type 2 diabetes, according to the ADA. Prior studies have indicated that statins may increase a person's risk of diabetes, the authors said in backgro Continue reading >>
Statins May Seriously Increase Diabetes Risk
TIME Health For more, visit TIME Health. Doctors may have to weigh a serious potential risk before prescribing statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs that are among most prescribed drugs in America. In a study published in Diabetologia, scientists from Finland found that men prescribed statins to lower their cholesterol had a 46% greater chance of developing diabetes after six years compared to those who weren’t taking the drug. What’s more, the statins seemed to make people more resistant to the effects of insulin—which breaks down sugar—and to secrete less insulin. The impact on insulin seemed to be greatest among those who started out with the lowest, and closest to normal, levels of blood glucose. And the higher the dose of the statin, and the longer the patients took them, the greater their risk of diabetes. Previous studies have suggested that statins can raise blood sugar levels, and increase the risk of diabetes by anywhere from 10% to 20%, but none have documented an effect this large. Doctors often consider statins for patients who are at higher risk of heart disease, and one of the risk factors for future heart trouble is diabetes. So how do these results affect that decision? “It’s a good news-bad news scenario,” says Dr. Robert Eckel, past president of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Although there is convincing evidence that patients on statins are at increased risk of new-onset diabetes, the benefit accrued [from statins] in reducing risks of heart attack, stroke and fatal heart disease trumps the effects of being new onset diabetics.” In other words, the good that statins can do for people who are not yet diabetic but at higher risk of heart problems outweighs the Continue reading >>
Statin Drugs Increase Risk For Diabetes And Weight Gain
(NaturalNews) Pfizer's Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a record-breaking drug, a prescription with the highest peak sales of any drug on the market. Statin drugs like this one, along with other brand equivalents and generics, are a medical doctor's go-to "solution" for managing patient's cholesterol levels. These drugs are formulated to alter liver function, reducing the efficiency of a specific liver enzyme that produces cholesterol. Under the spell of statins, liver cells are then more capable of capturing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from the blood of patients, potentially reducing risk of heart attack and stroke. Statin drugs are often prescribed after one has suffered a major vascular event to prevent future incidents. However, suppressing the natural function of enzymes in the liver may very well invite new problems in the human body. Taking statins increases type 2 diabetes risk by 12 percent New research from the University College London (UCL) and the University of Glasgow finds that these statin drugs are more risky than rewarding, increasing risk for diabetes and weight gain. A large-scale analysis investigated the mechanism by which statins increase a patient's risk of type 2 diabetes. In clinical trials that studied the effect of stain drugs on heart disease and stroke, 130,000 participants also underwent tests to determine diabetes risk in relation to the statin drugs. Over a four-year period, patients on statins gained an excess of 240 grams and were 12 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes versus those on placebo. The researchers were able to see that statins and variants of an enzyme-encoding gene in liver cells had a similar effect for increasing risk for type 2 diabetes and weight gain. Coauthor Dr. Daniel Swerdlow of the UCL Institute of Ca Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Statins
Taking statins increases the risk for diabetes. If you take a statin drug, all other things being equal, you will be more likely to develop Type II diabetes. The level of increased risk is believed to be small, and research continues. A large meta-analysis (study of studies) concluded that the risks of diabetes mellitus and its effects are small enough that the patients with cardiovascular disease or moderate to high risk for cardiovascular events should not be affected. The authors estimated 255 patients would have to be treated with statins for 4 years for one to develop diabetes, and that risk is worth it for the patients with cardiovascular disease. The lipophilic statins (atorvastatin, cerivastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin and simvastatin) may indirectly impair insulin secretion and promote insulin resistance. Pravstatin (a hydrophilic statin) appears to cause an increate in insulin sensitivity. Rosuvastatin - also hydrophilic -appears to have no overall affect on insulin sensitivity in people with a history of hyperlipidemia or with metabolic syndrome. As with other side effects, the doctor must weigh these risks with the probable or potential benefits of statins. Scientific inquiry into this question continues, with growing exidence of a connection between statin use and the risk for diabetes. As statins have been used over the years by tens of millions of people, more about their side effects is becoming known. Initial studies suggest that a low percentage of patients (less than 1 percent) have this statin-induced diabetes susceptibility – it’s hard to tell because diabetes is so common – but the large number of people using statins for years at a time has raised this connection as a public health concern. Writing in the New York Times, Eric Topol said: "M Continue reading >>
Fighting Statin-induced Diabetes With Coq10
Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs sold under trade names such as Lipitor® and Crestor®. They have been shown to benefit people at risk for heart disease caused by elevated LDL-cholesterol and/or C-reactive protein. For appropriate patients, statin drugs reduce cardiovascular death and disability rates.1-3 But despite these benefits, evidence suggests that statins, especially high doses of potent statins, may increase the risk, especially in older patients, of developing diabetes.3-6 Compelling data reveals that supplementing with CoQ10 can significantly reduce these glucose control issues. Facts about Statins and Diabetes Studies show that some statins, such as rosuvastatin (Crestor®), are associated with a 27% increased risk of developing new-onset type II diabetes.7 This is just one of many studies showing this harmful connection.4-6 One meta-analysis that utilized results from 13 statin studies involving more than 91,000 participants demonstrated an across-the-board increased diabetes risk of 9%,8 and found the highest risk in trials involving older subjects. Another meta-analysis showed that those taking higher doses of statins had a 12% higher risk of developing diabetes compared with subjects receiving “moderate” doses.9 These two alarming studies have made it apparent that older patients on more intensive statin regimens are at the greatest risk of developing diabetes from their treatment.3,10 Naturally, this poses a dilemma for anyone who is on, or considering starting, statin therapy. Is lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease worth the risk of developing diabetes which in turn could, paradoxically, increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease?6 Experts generally say it’s a worthwhile gamble, because the benefits for cardiovascular d Continue reading >>
Should All Diabetic Patients Be Treated With A Statin?
The prevalence of diabetes for all age-groups worldwide was estimated to be 2.8% (171 million) in the year 2000, and the projected number could rise to 4.4% (366 million) in 2030 (1). This rapid rise is mainly attributable to the increase of diabetes. The continuing escalation of obesity and the metabolic syndrome contribute to the upsurge in frequency of diabetes (2,3). Interestingly, the appreciation in the number of people >65 years of age was found to be the most important demographic change to diabetes prevalence around the world, indicating that the “diabetes epidemic” will continue even if levels of obesity remain constant. Therefore, it is likely that future diabetes preponderance is underestimated, given the growing frequency of obesity (1). Because the vast majority of diabetic patients have type 2 diabetes and almost all the studies were performed in such subjects, in this article, “type 2 diabetes” will be referred to as “diabetes.” DIABETES AS A MAJOR RISK FACTOR FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the foremost causes of mortality and is a major contributor to morbidity for individuals with diabetes. In addition, diabetes is an independent risk factor for macrovascular disease, as are the common coexisting conditions (hypertension and dyslipidemia). The U.K. Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) evaluated baseline risk factors for coronary artery disease in patients with newly diagnosed diabetes without evidence of vascular disease. When comparing the relative contribution of the three modifiable coexisting conditions (dyslipidemia, hypertension, and hyperglycemia) with development of future coronary heart disease (CHD), the estimated hazard ratio (HR) for the upper third, relative to the lower third, for LDL cholester Continue reading >>
Statin-induced Diabetes: Incidence, Mechanisms, And Implications
Go to: Emergence of new diabetes in RCTs A clinically relevant concern with statin therapy is a significantly increased risk of new-onset diabetes in patients on statin therapy. The JUPITER trial reported a 25% increase with rosuvastatin 20 mg, over a median follow-up of 1.9 years, compared to those on placebo 9. Since then, several meta-analyses have confirmed a smaller but significant increase with various statins ( Table 1). The analysis by Sattar et al. in 91,140 subjects showed a 9% overall risk in 13 RCTs over a mean period of 4.0 years (odds ratio [OR] 1.09; 95% CI 1.02–1.17) 10. In a subsequent meta-analysis of five intensive-dose statin trials, Preiss et al. reported a significant increase in diabetes incidence with more intensive- vs. moderate-dose statin (OR 1.12; 95% CI 1.04–1.22) in 32,752 subjects over a mean follow-up of 4.9 years 11. In general, there was no relationship between % LDL-C reduction and incident diabetes. Further analysis of baseline characteristics of the various trials reported a strong relationship between features of metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes (age, body mass index [BMI], hypertension, fasting glucose, and triglycerides) at baseline and subsequent development of diabetes 12– 14. Of note, the risk–benefit ratio for CVD still clearly favored statin therapy in various studies, including JUPITER, in primary prevention 13, several secondary prevention studies 12, 14, and a meta-analysis of secondary prevention studies by Preiss et al. 11. Thus, regardless of whether or not diabetes was diagnosed during statin therapy, the CVD outcomes were reduced on statin therapy compared to those observed with placebo. Authors n Age (years) Duration of follow-up (years) Adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) Comments Sattar et al. 1 Continue reading >>
Tweet Diabetes and statins have a complex relationship and are the focus of intense patient and healthcare debate. Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs that are frequently used as part of diabetes care due to the knowledge that people with diabetes face a greater likelihood of heart attack and stroke. When used alongside good blood glucose control and other medication, the case for statins argues that they cut cholesterol levels and lower the risk of a cardiovascular event. Type 2 diabetes in particular is commonly linked with higher levels of cholesterol. How can I lower my risk of cardiovascular problems without taking statins? There are other ways to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of stroke and heart attacks. These methods include stopping smoking, reducing your alcohol intake, taking regular physical activity and ensuring your diet is not over-reliant on processed foods. In some people, a change in lifestyle can make enough of a difference to cholesterol levels for you to not require cholesterol lowering treatment such as statins. If, however, your cholesterol levels remain above the target cholesterol levels and factors such as age and family history of heart disease and stroke show you to be at a high risk of heart disease, your doctor will likely advise statin treatment. What do statins do for people with diabetes? Statins affect the way the liver manufactures cholesterol, lowering levels of LDL cholesterol (the so called ‘bad’ cholesterol) and raising levels of HDL cholesterol (the so called ‘good’ cholesterol). The terms good and bad cholesterol are used because, whilst we do need both types of cholesterol, having too high levels LDl cholesterol is linked with higher risks of heart disease whereas h Continue reading >>
Can Hydrochlorothiazine And Simvastatin Cause Diabetes?
Our pharmacist answers the latest question regarding the possibility of hydrochlorothiazide and simvastatin causing diabetes. I am taking simvastatin 10mg, lisinopril/Hctz 20/25mg, and atenolol 25mg. I have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Can taking these drugs be part of the cause. I do have a family history of diabetes and am overweight. I go to the gym 5 times a week. Answer Out of the medications you listed, both simvastatin and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) have been known to cause an increase in blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and a possible increased likelihood of developing diabetes. In many of the studies that have been done regarding the issue, it's always been tough to conclude that either is a significant CAUSE of diabetes since patients that are hypertensive and have high cholesterol are statistically more likely to have diabetes anyway, regardless if they are taking something that is known to cause an increase in blood sugar. Let's tackle each drug separately. The class that HCTZ is in, known as thiazide diuretics, is linked with an increased the risk of hyperglycemia and in fact, with new-onset diabetes. It's very possible that HCTZ could be a contributing factor to your newly diagnosed diabetes. Having said that, thiazide diuretics are only considered a small risk factor for diabetes and typically if the medication were to be stopped or never taken, many patients would develop diabetes at some point in their lives anyway if they were at significant risk for it. Medical guidelines and recommendations are somewhat muddled when it comes to thiazide diuretics and diabetes. The top two guidelines for hypertension treatment in diabetics come from Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure and the Continue reading >>
Statin Medications Can Cause Diabetes, Memory Loss
A few years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it’s now going to require makers of cholesterol-lowering statin medications to put new warnings on the label—namely that these drugs can up your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and memory loss. First off, I praise the FDA for finally stepping up and doing the job they should be doing. As I'll mention in a minute, I do recommend statin medications in certain cases, so having the warnings out there is important. But, unfortunately, for many people these warnings are coming way too late. Statin Medications and Diabetes Let’s start with diabetes, an issue that’s been swept under the carpet for far too long! What should have alerted the FDA to take stronger measures earlier was the well-publicized JUPITER study, the one that came out flags waving suggesting that that statin drug Crestor is the heart disease cure-all. At that point, more people were put on statin medications even if they had healthy LDL cholesterol because statins were touted as “primary prevention.” What was lost in the hoopla was that those taking Crestor were developing diabetes at a higher rate than the placebo group. This was followed by several more studies showing the statin-diabetes link. What’s concerning to me is that it took so many years for the FDA to acknowledge the connection and warn the public. Statins Medications and Memory Loss Now, let’s talk about statins and memory loss. This issue has been less publicized, and quite frankly less clear cut. But it’s been bubbling up for quite some time. The reason statin medications can affect the brain is that cholesterol is vital for the formation and function of synapses (the connections between neurons) in the brain that allow you to think and process informat Continue reading >>
Can Cholesterol Drugs Cause Aging, Brain Damage, And Diabetes?
High cholesterol is determined as total levels that exceed 200 mg/DL. According to the CDC, more than 102 million Americans suffer from this disease. To make matters worse, more than 35 million people have cholesterol levels that exceed 240 mg/DL, which puts them at high risk for heart disease. More than 40 percent of Americans over the age of 60 take medications to lower cholesterol in order to reduce these numbers, but not without unpleasant side effects. Rumors have it that cholesterol lowering drugs can cause things like premature aging, brain damage, and diabetes. The truth is that every medication affects every person differently, but there are some cases of the following occurring in the elderly due to cholesterol-lowering medicine intake. As the body ages, it changes; this includes the way the body processes medication. Whether the brain, digestive system, or circulatory system stops being able to handle the medication or a reaction is caused by the unpleasant combination of particular drugs that are necessary for proper functioning, it is important to recognize changes and consult with a doctor to find workable solutions. Aging Problems Cholesterol lowering drugs have a history of causing muscle pain in certain patients, which can lead to aging issues. The pain is called “statin-induced myopathy” and patients who experience it claim that they have not only pain, but also muscle weakness and even cramps. The fact of the matter is, however, it is only people that have a specific variant in the SLC01B1 gene have the muscle myopathy reaction to the cholesterol lowering drugs; all others do not have this issue and therefore do not age due to the use of life-saving statin drugs. Brain Damage Brain damage might be a severe effect of cholesterol lowering drugs. The Continue reading >>
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- Statin Scam Exposed: Cholesterol Drugs Cause Rapid Aging, Brain Damage, And Diabetes
Controlling Cholesterol With Statins
Whether you’re taking a statin or not, the following tips can help keep your cholesterol in check: Talk with your healthcare provider about how often you should have your cholesterol checked. Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise regularly. When buying groceries, use the Nutrition Facts Label to choose foods lower in saturated fat, trans fats, and calories. Eat more fruits and vegetables. And remember, you should not stop taking any cholesterol-lowering medication you may be on without first talking to your healthcare provider. Subscribe: FDA Consumer Health Information You go to the gym faithfully, and try to watch your diet. But after your annual physical, you find out that your blood cholesterol is surprisingly high. Your doctor calls you back to discuss taking a medication known as a statin. Here are some commonly asked questions about cholesterol and statins. 1. What are statins? How do they work? Statins are a class of medicines used to lower cholesterol in the blood. Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by the liver. Statins work by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver and by helping the liver remove cholesterol that is already in the blood. According to James P. Smith, M.D., M.S., deputy director of the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “An important first step is to have a discussion with your healthcare provider about your risk of having heart disease or a stroke, how a statin would reduce that risk, and any side effects that you should consider.” 2. Why is it important to keep cholesterol levels in the blood low? Your body needs cholesterol, but too much of it in your blood can lead to buildup on the walls of your arteries (this buildup is called “plaque”), putting you at Continue reading >>