Cholesterol Meds Increase Risk of Diabetes in Middle-Aged Women

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Researchers investigated the relationship between the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs and the incidence of developing Type 2 diabetes in postmenopausal women as reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Medical information was gathered of more than 150,000 women who participated in the Women's Health Initiative.

Study Methods and Conclusion

Women in the study group ranged in age from their 50s to 70s. The study period ran from the original five years of the Women's Health Initiative and this study's follow-up period of seven years. When multiple other factors were taken into account, women who were taking a statin medication were 48 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, explains Reuters.

Study authors note in their conclusion that more research is needed to determine if specific statin medications or specific dosages or dosage ranges demonstrate varying risks for the development of diabetes.

Impact of Study Conclusion

Many health experts are expressing concern that these study results might cause some statin users to second guess the use of this medication. Dr. Steven Nissen, cardiology chairman at the Cleveland Clinic, told the Associated Press, "What I fear here is that people who need and will benefit from statins will be scared off of using the drugs because of reports like this." Nissen added that not everyone needs to be on statin medications, but for the people who need it for the prevention of heart attack and stroke, the increased risk of developing diabetes is not a "significant limitation."

Naveed Sattar, University of Glasgow researcher of metabolism and diabetes, told Reuters that studies such as this statin one don't prove cause and effect but does suggest statins increase diabetes risk. Rather than statin users going off their medications and losing the important benefits of the medication, they should take extra caution in regards to preventing and monitoring for diabetes.

Sattar encourages statin users to lose weight and increase physical activity levels and have blood sugar levels monitored at regular intervals.

Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.

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