Your doctor might be convinced that ANY way to lower cholesterol levels is a good one, but I don't share that same opinion--and you won't either once you see the results of this latest study.
You already know that statins can cause debilitating muscle pain and liver damage. Now you can add diabetes to that list.
Researchers looked at data on 90,000 people from 13 studies and found that statins of all types increase the risk of diabetes by as much as 9 percent. The older you get, the higher your risk.
The researchers claim the overall risk is small enough that patients should keep taking these meds anyway. They assert in the study published in Lancet that "only" one in 1,000 patients will get diabetes from statin use.
"Only"--as if even a low number of ruined lives is acceptable. And that's "only" if you believe their numbers... because other researchers have found the risk to be even higher. One 2008 study found that the statin Crestor can increase the risk of diabetes by 25 percent.
Of course, we wouldn't have to worry about any of this if more people would commit to simple and effective lifestyle changes to control their cholesterol levels.
Don't get me wrong. I understand the appeal of these meds-- pop a pill and watch those scary numbers magically shrink. It sure makes doctors happy--after all, it's a heck of a lot easier than counseling patients through the slow process of becoming healthy on their own.
Statins did $34 billion in business in 2008, making up five of the top 50 prescription drugs. And one statin--Lipitor –-is the bestselling prescription drug in history.
But if you think a lot of patients are taking these meds now, just wait. As I already mentioned, there's a new push to put more even people on these meds--even if they don't have high cholesterol levels.
Lipitor goes off patent next year... which means the dollar value of its sales will plunge, but far more people will be able to take it in its cheap generic form.
With close to 40 million Americans already taking statins and millions more about to get a prescriptions whether they know it or not, that quickly adds up to tens of thousands of new diabetes cases... even if you use the low numbers in the newest study.
That's a side effect that can be avoided completely by simply not taking these drugs.