Tags: statin | risk | heart | diabetes

Heart Benefits Outweigh Statin Risks

Tuesday, 14 Aug 2012 03:12 PM




The health benefits of taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease outweigh the increased risk of developing diabetes in some patients, new research shows.
The study, published online in the journal the Lancet, was conducted by a team of scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital that found people with at least one risk factor for diabetes were 28 percent more likely to develop diabetes when using statins, compared to healthy people who don’t. But researchers also found those taking statins were 39 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 17 percent less likely to die during the 5-year study period.
What’s more, people who were not at risk of developing diabetes experienced a 52 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease risks when taking statins, and were not more likely to develop diabetes.
"Our results show that in participants with and without diabetes risk, the absolute benefits of statin therapy are greater than the hazards of developing diabetes,” said lead researcher Paul Ridker. “We believe that most physicians and patients would regard heart attack, stroke and death to be more severe outcomes than the onset of diabetes, and so we hope that these results ease concern about the risks associated with statin therapy when these drugs are appropriately prescribed – in conjunction with improved diet, exercise and smoking cessation – to reduce patients' risk of cardiovascular disease.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required a compulsory warning on statin labels, advising users of the increased risk of diabetes.
But in a commentary accompanying the new study, Gerald Watts of the University of Western Australia's Cardiometabolic Research Centre, Royal Perth Hospital, suggested the new study findings should prompt the FDA to consider restricting its warning to people with existing major risk factors for diabetes.
"A major take-home message for the clinician involved in either primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease is that all individuals on a statin who have major risk factors for diabetes, particularly impaired fasting glucose, need to be informed about the risk, monitored regularly for hyperglycemia, and advised to lose weight and take regular physical exercise to mitigate the emergence of diabetes," he said.

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The heart benefits of taking cholesterol-lowering drugs outweigh the potential diabetes risks.
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2012-12-14
Tuesday, 14 Aug 2012 03:12 PM
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