Do Statins Raise Diabetes Risk? Probably, in higher doses.
A study of 18000 people without heart disease, called JUPITER, shows that Crestor (rosuvastatin) 20 mg showed that for every 1000 patients on high dose (40mg and up) statins, there are 6 more cases of new diabetes over 2 years.
Crestor also prevented 11 cases of heart attack, stroke, arterial revascularization, hospitalization or death from heart disease, in that 1000 patients.
The newest study includes 32,752 patients without heart disease. Again, 2 cases of diabetes, versus 6 or more cardiac events prevented in a 1000 people over 5 years.
If you actually have heart disease or angina, then the numbers for taking a statin are different.
- 1 in 83 life saved
- 1 in 39 prevented a non-fatal heart attack
- 1 in 125 prevented stroke
- 1 in 167 developed diabetes
Is that worth the trade-off?
I try to find ways for my own patients to get off high doses of statins, especially 80mg doses, because of myopathy and pain.
A cholesterol registry can chronicle how people control cholesterol naturally.
I suggest that any patient 40 and over get screened every 3 years, and make sure they don’t suffer from abnormal lab test syndrome. And I help them make lifestyle changes that help them reduce their need for cholesterol medication.
Statins can be important medications, and their benefits can be greater in diabetics than nondiabetics.
But there’s no sense in tempting fate. Let’s enjoy life, and avoid getting diabetes in the first place. Lower your cholesterol with what you eat.