How Statins Affect the Risk of Diabetes

By NaDica | Articles

Oct 31

Cholesterol-lowering drugs by the name statins might reduce the risk of heart disease.

Statins and diabetes actually have a complex relationship, and they are the focus of intense healthcare and patient debate.

However, new studies note that they also might boost the odds for type 2 diabetes development.

In fact, statins are part in diabetes care. It is like that because individuals with diabetes are more likely to experience a stroke or heart attack.

When statins are used with other drugs and good control over blood sugar they reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event and cut the cholesterol levels. In particular, diabetes type 1 usually connects to higher levels of cholesterol.

What Statins Do for Individuals with Diabetes?

Statins impact how the liver manufactures cholesterol. By raising the levels of the good cholesterol known by the name HDL cholesterol, and lowering the levels of the bad cholesterol known by the name LDL cholesterol.

Having high levels of bad cholesterol links to increased risk of heart disease. While on the other hand having a high level of good cholesterol links to reduced risk of heart disease.

The benefits of statins regarding cardiovascular risk are so powerful and well established that doctors recommend that people should not stop taking these drugs. However, they need to be monitoring for diabetes development while they take these drugs.

Side Effects of Statins

As a matter of fact, statins are well-tolerated by individuals with diabetes. Side effects from these drugs are:

  • Memory issues
  • Headaches
  • Increased risk of obtaining diabetes type 2
  • Impact the liver function
  • Myopathy, i.e., disorder of the muscles
  • Stomach issues like vomiting, abdominal pain, flatulence, constipation, and diarrhea.
  • Rashes

According to research the risk of obtaining diabetes type 2 increase by the duration and by taking higher doses of this drug. While there is a low risk of only 1 percent of those individuals who take statins, this particular risk raised a lot of debate.

Studies on Statins and Diabetes

First Study

According to one study, statins increase the risk of new-onset diabetes. Some statins seem to be more strongly linked in comparison to others.

And it is very difficult to weigh the benefits when it comes to preventing serious cardiovascular events and the risk of new-onset diabetes.

There is a need for more clinical trials in order things to be more clear. Until then, the researchers advice that the clinicians who use statins need to be more vigilant and careful with their use.

Second Study

One study has connected statin to an increased risk of diabetes type 2 among patients who were at low risk of this condition.

The journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care published this research. This particular study looked at data from around 3.234 obese or overweight participants.

After a follow-up of a decade, one-third of these participants had started taking statins. The researchers came to the discovery that using the drugs was linked to 36 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

This is in comparison to the those who did not take it. This study points out that statins might increase the onset of diabetes in certain people.

According to the chairman of the Royal College of GPs, Helen Stokes-Lampard, this particular study emphasizes how important is to calculate the accurate risk score.

That might then aid healthcare professionals to have an honest talk with the patients. Talk about the risks and benefits that are unique to them.

Should You Take Statins?

Certain people might want to use statins in order to do everything possible to lower the risk of stroke and heart attack.

While on the other hand, other people might decide that the likelihood is very low this drug to prevent a cardiovascular event in order to justify taking them and possibly face side effects.

If your doctor is the one who advises you to use statins, it is up to you whether you will follow that recommendation or not. And your doctor should respect your final decision.

However, you should remember that this drug is part of the diabetes care. That means you should not use statins instead of cutting down on alcohol, maintaining the proper diet, quitting smoking and exercising on a regular basis.

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