Study: Cholesterol medications raise diabetes risk in women

The results of a large, long-term study show that post-menopausal women who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs have a higher risk of developing diabetes than women who do not take any cholesterol medication.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that the risk for developing diabetes rose by 71 percent for those who take statins. Even after adjusting for variables such as age, body mass index, and race/ethnicity, statins still increased the risk by 48 percent.

“Women who are taking statins should be aware of the need to check their blood sugars, along with their liver function tests,” said Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, NY Daily News reports. Steinbaum was not part of the study.

“Due to the extensive use of statins in the aging female population, it is critical that more studies are done to help understand the association with statins and the development of diabetes,” Steinbaum added.

The researchers noted that despite the findings, there is no need to revise the guidelines for statin use for women, even for those who do not have diabetes, as statins have been found to address the cardiovascular consequences of diabetes.

via NY Daily News