Statins: Heart Health Benefits Outweigh Diabetes Risk [Study]
Researchers are saying that the heart-health benefits of statins (cholesterol reducing drugs) far outweigh the risks of Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published Saturday in The Lancet.
They discovered that it did not matter if the person was already at high-risk for diabetes because of other risk factors like obesity or family history, statins were still beneficial, reports WIBW.
The study was performed by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and took data from an earlier trial of 17,600 men and women, searching to see if the risk of developing diabetes outweighed the benefits of the cholesterol reducing drugs and their ability to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.
AstraZeneca funded the study in which patients were given the generic for the company’s Crestor drug. Participants with at least one risk factor for diabetes were 28 percent more likely to develop the disease than healthy people in the study, who had no significant increase in rates of diabetes.
USA Today reports that even with patients who were at a high risk for diabetes, the statins helped them become 39 percent less likely to develop heart problems and were 17 percent less likely to die than those who did not take them. Patients with no diabetes risk had a 52 percent reduction in heart problems. Paul Ridker of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the lead author of the study, stated:
“When we focus only on the risk (of diabetes) we may be doing a disservice to our patients. As it turns out for this data, the hazard of being on a statin is limited almost entirely to those well on their way to getting diabetes.”
Ridker also led the 2008 study about statins, which resulted in many doctors prescribing the pills, even in people who don’t have heart disease. There are some health experts that don’t agree with the latest study, saying that prescribing the cholesterol-reducing drugs to someone who doesn’t have heart disease “is still a big issue, despite what this paper says.” Physician Eric Topol, the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego, states that:
“Per 100 people you have two heart attacks less and one increase in diabetes. They’re trying to say it benefits more than it harms. But the benefit is so small.”
Are you one of the 25 percent of Americans who take a statin? If so, do you take the cholesterol-reducing drug, even if you are healthy?
Check out more information about statins and health below:
[Image from ShutterStock]