This week on January 10Th,the Worcester Telegram and Gazette printed an article about a UMass study showing statins,or cholesterol lowering drugs,having a risk of helping to cause diabetes in older women.
It says that your doctors advice to making lifestyle changes rather then swallowing one of several pills aimed at lowering cholesterol may be more challenging but a better choice in the long run.
A study at UMass Medical School,which was published on line Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine,showed a publication from the Journal of the American Medical Association,found women older then 50 who use drugs such as statins like Lipitor,Pravachol,Crestor,Zocor,and Mevacor to reduce cholesterol are at a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
According to Dr. Yunsheng Ma,an epidemiologist and associate professor of medicine at UMass,said the study found a 48% increase of diabetes compared to postmenopausal women not on cholesterol-lowering medications.
The reason for the the higher risk in women is unclear,Dr. Ma said,and there may be similar risk in men.
The results emphasize the need for doctors to monitor patients blood sugar and other diabetes markers closely,take each ones cardiac risk factors and lifestyles into account,and stress the need for dietary changes and increased exercise.Doctors with patients on statins,may consider gradually decreasing their dosages.But he pointed out that medical guidelines for prescribing statins have not changed because of the study.
Dr.Ma said an average of one in four Americans older then 45 are prescribed stations to lower cholesterol,a ten fold increase during the last 20 years.
The study,which used data from the Women's Health Initiative,a national health study funded by the National Institute of Health,included 161,808 post menopausal women ages 50 to 79 who were followed for 15 years.
The UMass study focused on 153,840 of those women who did not have diabetes when they enrolled in the study.
A total of 10,242 new cases of diabetes related to statin use were found,from their total studies.
Women with lower BMI,below 25,were at greater risk for developing diabetes than those with a higher BMI of 30 or higher.They speculated that genetic or hormonal factors related to weight redistribution after menopause could be independent of BMI as a diabetes risk factor. Also there could be paradoxical protection against diabetes in postmenopausal women not taking statins to a factor that protects older women from recurrent heart attacks.
Given the wide use of statins further studies need to be done on men and diverse ethnicities should further clarify the diabetes risk.
To sum this up in my own personal mind,never take any drug unless the good out ways the bad.
Every drug has not only a positive effect but can have an equal negative effect.
Always take the time to study a drug before you choose to take it,then make a clear minded decision.
Just because a doctor tells you to take something does not mean you don't have the right to think it over before you agree to it.
Your in charge of your own body and with the Internet it has become much easier to research your choices.