Link found between statins and common disease

While statins are widely prescribed, they have been a contentious topic for years.
The medication is commonly used to lower cholesterol.

A new study has found a link between statins and one of the country’s most concerning diseases.

Researchers from the University of Queensland studied women aged 75 and over and found that those taking statins were 33 per cent more likely to develop diabetes.

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia and causes a range of other health issues including, blindness, heart disease and increased risk of stroke.

The study’s lead author Dr Mark Jones, of the UQ School of Public Health, said his team focussed on women over 75 because they had been largely ignored in past studies on statins and concluded there was a definite link between the medication and diabetes for this age group.

“There is a consensus now that statins cause an increased risk of diabetes,” he told Starts at 60.

“We focused on the older cohort of women from this study because this is a population that has generally not been included in clinical trials, but possibly has a high proportion being treated with statins.”

Statins are commonly prescribed to lower Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, but have been a point of contention for years. Previous studies have linked statins to increased risk of liver failure and skeletal muscle damage.

Dr Jones says the side effects of statins often depend on the individual patient.

“If the patient is at low risk of a cardiovascular event then the bad may potentially outweigh the good,” he said. “Conversely if the patient is at high risk of a cardiovascular event then the good may potentially outweigh the bad.

“Clinical trials have shown that at a population level the benefits outweigh the harms on average for those patients who are able to continue taking the medication.

“But for individual patients it may be difficult to predict who will benefit and who may be harmed.”

He suggests that women in this age bracket who are taking statins should talk to their doctor about reducing their risk of diabetes.

“[They should] ensure they have their blood glucose levels monitored and for those on higher doses, consider reducing the dose of statin they are taking.”

The results of the study were published in the medical journal Drugs & Aging.

Do you take statins? Do you or anyone you know have diabetes?

  1. Hans  

    One of the problems with statin is that they are lactose based! Since most adults have lost the ability to digest lactose (70% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant). As a lactose intolerant individual I find this particularly appalling!
    Why on Earth would they purposely add to other side effects one that has the potential cause severe stomach discomfort to 11% or more of those taking it?

    I do not know what the reason for this is but there is one and I would say not a good one for the patient!
    Another clear example that modern medicine, with its emphasis on suppressing symptoms with dangerous chemicals, is NOT acting in the best interest of the patients but the wallet size of the pharmaceutical companies.
    Avoid Modern medicine!

  2. Christine Moore  

    Have PMR wonder if this is connected

  3. Ruby Tuesday  

    Christine, it has long been known that statins increase the risk of contracing Polymyalgia Rheumatica by 14 times.
    There is far too much information available to post a link but if you google “statin induced polymyalgia rheumatica” you will be amazed at what comes up.

  4. Jeffrey Jones  

    Have been on statins for about 2 years recently i was diagnosed with diabetes

  5. Joan Marshall  

    I was taking Lipitor which is a statin with a fair few side effects. After reading the reviews of other people and the side effects they were experiencing I saw a Naturopath who told me High Cholesterol is diet related. He asked me to eliminate all animal products such as red meat, butter, milk. Eat fish chicken vegetables fruits lentils rice and oats for breakfast with almond milk. No sugar because sugar encourages cholesterol. Take a plant sterol capsule such as Cholesterol health from the Chemist one in the morning and one at night. From 9.7 down to 6 from 6 down to 5 which is acceptable by the medical profession. Stop taking statins !! the body can cope with once in while forbidden foods not constantly.

    • JUdy  

      Thank you for your simple solution , I have been avoiding statins for some time now your tips will help

  6. Lynette J  

    My husband already a diabetic. Our problem is that since “they” started him on statins, his memory has gone down the tube. By the way his cholesterol is 2.9 – 3.5. Why did they want him on them???

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