Statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) are widely used among those with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Diabetes because both groups of patients are at a significant increased risk of Cardiovascular Events which may result in possible death. Yet certain statins may increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, a recent British Medical Journal study suggests. The drug therapy only highlights the everyday balance in treatment necessary to ensure CKD and Diabetes patients maintain a long and high quality of life.
The risk was greatest for patients taking atorvastatin (brand name Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor), the study said. People taking Lipitor had a 22 percent higher risk of new-onset diabetes, Crestor users had an 18 percent increased risk and people taking Zocor had a 10 percent increased risk, relative to those taking pravastatin (Pravachol), which appears to have a favorable effect on diabetes.
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Focusing on almost 500,000 Ontario residents, researchers have previously found that the overall odds of developing diabetes were moderate (9%) in patients prescribed statins. However, University of Queensland researchers suggested, " The increased risk of diabetes with statin treatment has been overestimated and may have more to do with weight gain than a metabolic effect of statins." They found statin related Diabetes event to be less than 1% (1 in 237 patients).
"The overall benefit of statins still clearly outweighs the potential risk of incident diabetes," researchers from the University of Turku said. Statins have been proven to reduce heart problems, they said, adding that the medications "play an important role in treatment."
You should never stop taking medication without talking to your Nephrologists, to most this is a given. This is not an "either, or" situation. Other statins perform more favorably than Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor in terms of diabetes, the research found.
If CKD or Diabetic patients notice weight gain after starting their statin regimen, ask your Primary Care Physician about Pravachol which may even be beneficial to patients at high risk of diabetes. Even better, Fluvastatin (Lescol) was associated with a 5% decreased risk of Diabetes while Lovastatin (Mevacor) had a 1% decreased risk.
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Michael Woodhead. "Diabetes Risk with Statins Linked to Weight Gain." Http://www.6minutes.com.au/. Cirrus Media.
Margaret Farley Steele. "Could Statins Raise Diabetes Risk? – WebMD." WebMD.com.