Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Do statins increase the risk for diabetes?

According to a new study published in the Lancet:
Statin therapy is associated with a slightly increased risk of development of diabetes, but the risk is low both in absolute terms and when compared with the reduction in coronary events. Clinical practice in patients with moderate or high cardiovascular risk or existing cardiovascular disease should not change.
In this meta-analysis of 13 statin trials, statin therapy was associated with a 9% increased risk for incident diabetes. Statin therapy was associated with a 9% increased risk for incident diabetes

Stay tuned, because this article is likely to generate some very interesting discussions regarding the use of statins. You may have heard the phrase, "statins should be in drinking water." How about the idea of creating a super cardiovascular pill that includes a statin, aspirin, beta blocker, and ACE inhibitor?

Maybe the bigger question is regarding the use of statins for patients who have normal cholesterol levels but who have elevated hs-CRP levels (suggesting systemic inflammation which may lead to cardiovascular disease, even if your lipid levels are normal). I'm referring to the JUPIPTER study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the recent FDA-approved indication for Crestor (rosuvastatin).
Specifically, this includes men 50 years of age and older and women 60 years of age and older who have an elevated amount of a substance known as high sensitivity C-reactive protein in their blood and at least one additional traditional cardiovascular risk factor such as smoking, high blood pressure, a family history of premature heart disease, or low amounts of high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol, the so-called “good cholesterol.”
Click here to read the entire Lancet article titled, "Statins and risk of incident diabetes: a collaborative meta-analysis of randomised statin trials"

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