October 27, 2022

The Link Between Statins and Type 2 Diabetes

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Two of the most common ailments in the United States are high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. The two go hand in hand thanks to a study that found that otherwise healthy adults taking statins to help lower LDL levels (aka bad cholesterol) were at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes after taking the medication for a two-year period.

More research has been done to try and understand the link, and CHC is sharing that information.

The Increase in Risk in Initial Study was Low

In the study that we provided a link to above, 8,900 were taking the statin rosuvastatin to help lower cholesterol. Of that number, 270 developed diabetes. But the same number took a placebo, and 216 out of that group also developed diabetes, making the increase in risk about 9%.

One theory is that many of these adults were prediabetic, and a statin increased blood sugar levels enough to push those people over the tipping point into being fully diabetic.

What Is the Actual Link Between Statins and Type 2 Diabetes?

Further clinical trials and studies in animals found that statins can make cells more insulin-resistant, which could cause blood sugar levels to rise to diabetic levels. But it’s believed if it does cause a rise, it’s a slight one and not a spike. Doctors also say it’s more common in moderate to high-intensity doses, such as 40 or 80 milligrams of Lipitor or 20 or 40 milligrams of rosuvastatin.

Bottom Line: Don’t Let Diabetes Risk Deter You

Many Americans who could benefit from statins do not take them due to not wanting to deal with potential side effects like headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, and brain fog. But doctors say that the slightly increased risk for diabetes shouldn’t be a reason to avoid these medicines.

If you have any individual concerns, you should talk to your doctor.

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