by Zina Kroner, DO
According to a recent study not funded by a pharmaceutical company, in the journal Lancet, use of statins (Lipitor, zocor, etc) is associated with a small risk of developing diabetes. When looking at 90,000 subjects in this meta-analysis, it was found that there was a 9% increase in diabetes risk as compared to controls. This association was of greater significance with increasing age.
How does this affect you, statistically speaking?
Well, for every 255 patients treated with a statin medication for four years, there is the potential, according to the authors of this study, to produce one additional case of diabetes.
Add it to the Laundry List
This is yet another adverse effect added to statins’ already long list of side-effects. It means that physicians as well as patients have to be cognizant of this fact and monitor for signs and symptoms of glucose imbalance on a regular basis.
Remember that statin drugs are effective at reducing overall cardiovascular risk, so cardiologists will argue that the benefits of statins far outweigh the risks. From a conventional standpoint, it is, therefore, not recommended to change the existing indications for statin therapy in the setting of cardiovascular risk prevention.