A new U.S. study suggested that the statins may increase diabetes risk in middle-aged and older females. But the researchers said that the benefits outweigh risks.
The study found that women who took any kind of statin at the beginning of the 6 to 7-year study were about 50% more likely to develop diabetes than those who did not took statins.
Yunsheng Ma and his colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester wrote, “Use of statins among postmenopausal women is linked to higher risk of diabetes mellitus development.”
The research team assessed data from the Women’s Health Initiative that included over 150,000 women without diabetes and were middle-aged or older.
Under the study, some of the women were told to change their diet or to take vitamins or daily hormone therapy, while other weren’t prescribed diet changes or lifestyle changes.
At the study’s beginning, the study participants completed health surveys regarding whether they took statins or not, also about their other diabetes risks, like physical activity and weight levels.
Overall, just over 10,200 females were positively diagnosed with diabetes, with females who took any form of statin i.e. about 1 in 14 of the women involved in the study. On average, the risk of diabetes was 48% higher in statin users as compared to non-users.
Some of the previous studies that involved men have also suggested 10 to 12% rise in risk of diabetes among those who took statins.
Even though the reasons were not clear at that time, but it was found that statins affects the muscles and liver in such a way that may lead body to produce little more glucose than it normally would, or make users less physically active.
Thus, statin users should opt other ways to lower their diabetes risk, like becoming more physically active, by losing weight, and should get their blood sugar monitored regularly.