It is now clear that cholesterol lowering drugs cause diabetes. But the proponents have clearly stated that the risk was in those already at risk.
Ironically, pretty much everyone with cholesterol issues is, to some degree, already on his or her way to developing diabetes. Giving a drug that is now proven to push patients along this pathway faster just seems a wee bit on the crazy side.
This article is not about the fact that statins suck at preventing heart disease. Because they do. Across the board statins pretty much lower your risk of having a heart attack by a paltry, sad 1%. High cholesterol, low cholesterol high CRP….doesn’t matter. One percent is the magic number. Your protection from heart disease will really not go above this level of protection.
Patients will respond by saying that the cholesterol drug he or she is taking lowered his or her cholesterol. Big deal. Do you REALLY care what your cholesterol is??? No. You just don’t want to have a heart attack or stroke. Well guess what—your cholesterol level dropping has very little to do with whether or not you are going to have a heart attack.
THAT is the big problem with statins. This delusional idea that artificially lowering your cholesterol with a drug (as opposed to lifestyle changes) will protect the heart is dangerous.
For those of you who would like to know more, I elaborate quite a bit in my Cholesterol Lowering eBook that can be found on Amazon by clicking here.
Back to this particular study. In it, researchers looked at the statin / diabetes link in greater detail. They looked at 4,645 patients who already had vascular disease but no diabetes. Of this group, 3,057 of them were taking statins at the beginning of the study, and 1,608 of these were on high-doses (intensive statin therapy–statin therapy theoretically lowering LDL cholesterol more than 40%).
Here’s what they found:
- Statin use increased the risk of developing diabetes by 63%.
- Those on intensive statin therapy had an even higher 22% risk of developing diabetes.
- Here’s the shocker: the increase in risk had NO relationship to whether or not the statin user was already at risk for diabetes or not.
- As a matter of fact, the greatest risk was in those patients who were LESS likely to on their way to diabetes (baseline glucose levels less than <120 mg/dl or 5.6 mmol/L).
Less just review this a second. People with elevated cholesterol are, in almost all cases, already on the way to developing diabetes. These patients are then put on drugs to lower cholesterol levels but do almost nothing to actually prevent a heart attack or stroke (which, BTW, is the main reason that diabetics leave this planet).
These drugs will then, paradoxically, further increase the risk of diabetes that the patient already had.
But, if you’re one of the luckier ones who was NOT on your way to diabetes but had high cholesterol, the drug you are put on will now pretty much ensure that you ARE on your way to diabetes.
Umm…am I the only one who seems to think this is a problem? Especially considering that the new ACC/AHA guidelines will drastically increase the number of patients who will be given prescriptions for statins.
No wonder heart disease is still the #1 killer in the industrialized world.