Statin use in postmenopausal women associated with increased diabetes risk

According to the AARP, one in four Americans over age 45 takes a statin drug to lower their cholesterol, but a study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine says the popular medication may increase the risk of diabetes.

Using data through 2005, Annie L. Culver, B. Pharm., Rochester Methodist Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and colleagues analyzed records from the national, multi-year Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). 153,840 women without diabetes and with a mean (average) age of 63.2 years were included. Statin use was assessed at enrollment and in year three. At baseline, 7.04% of women reported taking statins.

The results indicate 10,242 new cases of diabetes and statin use at baseline was associated with an increased risk of diabetes. This association remained after adjusting for other potential variables, including age, race/ethnicity and body mass index, and was observed for all types of statins.

“The results of this study imply that statin use conveys an increased risk of new-onset DM in postmenopausal woman. In keeping with the findings of other studies, our results suggest that statin-induced DM is a medication class effect and not related to potency or to individual statin,” the researchers write.

Not surprisingly, the medical community quickly maintained the results of the study shouldn’t prevent people from taking such drugs, which generate more than $20 billion in sales annually. Quoted in an AP report, Dr. Steven Nissen, cardiology chairman at the Cleveland Clinic, said: “What I fear here is that people who need and will benefit from statins will be scared off of using the drugs because of reports like this.” Nissen was not involved in the research.

The double standard between medical treatment and alternative care is glaringly obvious in such cases. While the medical industry tries to use the one-in-a-million negative response to spinal adjustments as an excuse not to use chiropractic, it urges the public to virtually ignore scientific research on proven risks and side effects of drugs and surgery.