Saturday, March 07, 2015


This debate has been raging for a while. While BIG PHARMA has obviously denied the relationship, studies by many independent bodies seem to suggest that there is a very real risk.
The latest to join this list is a smallish study by the doctors in Finland. Dr Henna Cederberg of the University of East Finland and Kuopio University and colleagues studied 8,744 non diabetics aged 45-73 years. 2,412 were started on statins for whatever reasons, and the were followed up for 6 years with regular assessment of fasting blood sugars, HbA1c estimation and also if they have been started on oral hypoglycemic agents during follow up. This study is call METSIM or Metabolic Syndrome in Men, published in the Journal Diabetologia, 4th March 2015.
They found that in the 6 years, they found that the ingestion of statins was associated with a 46% increase in the risk of Diabetes, when compared to the normal Finnish population risk of 10-20 %, meaning that the regular ingestion was associated with a more than 2 fold increase with the risk of diabetes. What's more, the risk of diabetes seemed to be dose dependent. The higher the dose, the more likely. The most common statins taken in Finland seems to be simvastatin and atorvastatin. They found that females and obesity seem to make the patient more prone ( obviously ).
The researcher also study the reason why? They found that the ingestion of chronic statins reduces the secretion of insulin by about 12% and also increases insulin resistance by about 24%.
I think this study sets a firm foundation that there is a risk of T2DM in patients who are taking statins.
I suppose, as always, we should weight the risk against the benefits. If you are taking statins for secondary prevention, then clearly the benefit ot weighs the risk, and you should take statins. If you are taking statins for primary prevention ( where the benefit is less obvious ), then you should have to re-consider. And certainly, if you are taking high dose statins, you must reconsider.

Wow, it feels good to write a cardio blog, instead of all the social issues. It feels different, and shows that I can still do it.

1 comment:

Winston Yap said...

Doc, I think that Malaysians must be made aware of this danger when taking statins.
Many Malaysians take medicines without knowing about the side effects.
If at all possible, we must use ways like exercise to improve o
ur health instead of taking any medicines.
So, how about getting the news media to launh a campaign to enlighten the public?
Thank you.