Statins, such as popular Crestor, are well known drugs for lowering cholesterol. But, it became quite obvious that the drug has side effects, and they are not in the range of “upset stomach” or “nausea”. Some people who were taking statins developed diabetes. So, would you take statins to prevent heart attack caused by your high cholesterol if you knew that you would get diabetes? Tough question, no doubt. But, scientists who conducted a trial of 17 603 men and women without previous cardiovascular disease or diabetes say that the risk is worth it and that statins may save your life.
The study , lead by Dr Paul Ridker from Boston Brigham and Women’s Hospital, found that the risk statins pose for the development of diabetes is not the same for everyone. People that are already at risk for developing diabetes, such as people with high blood sugar and obese people, had 28 percents more chance of developing diabetes as a side effect from statins than people who are not at high risk.
The researchers explained that for every 54 cases of diabetes caused by statins, the drug prevented 134 heart attacks or related deaths. People who were taking statins had 39 percents less chance of developing a heart disease and 17 percents less chance of dying than people who were not using statins.
Is it worth it?
Scientists believe that their findings confirm that the benefits of taking statins greatly outweigh the risks. You might not agree with them, and if you do not, talk to your doctor about some other way of lowering your cholesterol. Start with carefully watching your diet.
The study on the statins and its link to diabetes was five years long and it involved about 17,600 people. The research was funded by AstraZeneca, which makes statin drug rosuvastatin under brand name Crestor.