In 2012, the FDA updated the labeling requirements for all statin drugs. They recommended monitoring patients’ liver functions and warned about the possibility of memory loss. In addition, they warned that statin drugs may increase the possibility of new-onset diabetes mellitus and worsen glycemic control in diabetic patients already taking statin drugs. Since then, individual clinical trials have been mixed but seem to suggest that patients who take statin drugs are 9% more likely to develop diabetes.
For the last decade, individual controlled trials have had conflicting results about diabetes and statin medications. The type of statin, the intensity of the therapy, and the age of the population that is studied can all contribute to the results of the trials. Intensive-dose statin therapy has been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk more than other types of therapies, yet this appears to come with an increased risk of developing diabetes.
“Waters et al23 reported a higher risk of new diabetes with atorvastatin 80 mg than with placebo and a trend toward a higher risk with atorvastatin 80 mg than with atorvastatin 10 mg or simvastatin 20 mg.”
It is possible that statins merely cause diabetes in those patients who are already at a higher risk for developing diabetes. In one specific clinical trial, 77% of patients in the rosuvastatin group who developed diabetes had an impaired fasting glucose prior to taking the statin drugs. Therefore, these individuals were already at a higher risk of developing diabetes.
It is important for physicians and clinicians to weigh the pros and cons of statin drugs prior to prescribing them in patients who may be at a higher risk for developing new-onset diabetes. Statin drug treatment is associated with fewer deaths from coronary heart disease and cases of nonfatal myocardial infarction. In addition, statin drugs have been known to decrease the number of strokes, revascularization and hospitalization. Doctors must weigh these benefits against the risk of developing diabetes.
“A meta-analysis found a higher risk of new diabetes with high-dose statin therapy (8.8%) than with moderate-dose therapy (8.4%)”
The evidence seems to point to a real association between statin use and the development of new-onset diabetes, yet many questions remain unanswered. More research is needed to determine the real association between them and whether the benefits of statin drugs will continue to outweigh the risks of developing diabetes.
Statin Drugs Can Cause Numerous Complications
In addition to increasing your risk of developing diabetes, statin drugs have been associated with numerous side effects and complications, including:
- Memory loss
- Muscle soreness
- Kidney damage
- Kidney failure
Dangerous Drug Lawsuit Attorneys
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