If you have high cholesterol levels, your physician may prescribe Statins. As with all drugs, Statins have side effects. These include liver damage, muscle pain or damage, and neurological side effects such as memory loss. But what about type 2 diabetes? In this article, we ask, does taking Statins increase your risk of type 2 diabetes?
What Are Statins and Why Do Doctors Prescribe Them?
Statins are drugs that help to lower blood cholesterol levels by blocking the enzyme in the liver, responsible for producing cholesterol. Doctors prescribe them to patients who are at risk of stroke, heart attack, and angina.
Because cholesterol blocks arteries, the above-mentioned conditions are more likely to occur.
Prior to the publication of new research, experts believed that Statins only produce minor side effects including abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, bloating, and pins and needles.
Research Findings – Does Taking Statins Increase Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?
Research conducted at the Eastern University of Finland showed that people taking Statins are 46 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
For six years, the researchers monitored nearly 9,000 men between the ages of 45 and 73. One in every four men was taking Statins. 625 men developed type 2 diabetes. Even when factoring in all other risks, the men on Statins were 46 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
When taking a closer look, the researchers discovered that Statins lowered insulin sensitivity by 24 percent and insulin secretion by 12 percent. Furthermore, they also found that higher Statin dosages also increase the diabetes type 2 risks.
On the back of the results of this study, doctors now have to weigh up the risk and benefits of prescribing Statins. Here, pre-diabetes patients require special attention because of the study findings.