Taking statins can have many impacts on health including weight gain and higher blood sugar levels. A recent study by a team at University College London and the University of Glasgow also discovered that cholesterol-lowering statins can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
While cholesterol-lowering statins can increase the risk of diabetes, they also have health benefits including heart attack and stroke prevention. Many medical experts agree that the health benefits of statins outweigh the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers looked at genetic data from about 220,000 people, and about 130,000 patients who took statins for the clinical trial. According to The Guardian, the patients who took statins had a 12 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes over four years. On average, they gained about half a pound in weight.
"Weight gain is a risk factor for diabetes, which might help explain the small increased risk of diabetes observed in people taking statins," co-author Dr. David Preiss of the University of Glasgow Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences said.
Despite the increased risk of diabetes, the benefits associated with taking statins outweigh the diabetes risk, said Jeremy Pearson, Ph.D., associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation.
"But the results also reinforce that, alongside prescribed medication, taking steps to maintain a health weight is essential to stay heart healthy," Pearson said.
What do you think of these study findings? Are statins still worth taking despite the increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Share your thoughts in the comment box below.