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Old 01-09-2012, 07:21 PM   #1
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Just saw a major study (Women's Health Study) of, I believe, 150,000 women who take ANY brand of statins for cholesterol. Around 48% developed Type 2 diabetes. Smaller studies previously suggested that, but this was the first time a major, long term study was done. Will do more research.

This is not good.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:26 PM   #2
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Umm, no it's not, but I am really interested in seeing the article. I haven't received any notices on that and I'm on all the lists for women's health care, especially heart and diabetes.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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It was on NBC Nightly News tonight.

They said it didn't matter the dose or how long the women were on it. DH was blabbing away about something, and I was trying to pay attention to the news, so may have missed some details.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:55 PM   #4
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It was featured on national news programs today. But it's not really news. A slightly older study published in The Lancet in 2011 was a meta analysis of published and unpublished studies from 1994 to 2009. They concluded their analysis shows that patents who took statins had their risk of diabetes increase by 9%. Before going any farther, note that the risk of diabetes in the general population is about 11%. A "9% increase" in that risk is 9% of 11%, or roughly an additional 1% or a total risk of 12%. A 9% increase in risk of almost any disease is a very small increase. It is what a scientists calls "statistically significant," but it's not of much practical significance. And no percent of increase means anything until you know the actual normal risk. Increase my risk of being hit by a meteorite by ten times or 100 times, and I'll still won't worry about it.

Now, the study in the news today concluded that among the control group of older women who had never taken statins, 6.4% developed diabetes over a period of years. Among those who took statins over the same period, 10% developed diabetes. ATTENTION: That is about a 45% difference in the risk, NOT a 45% risk. Get that clear.

Before getting too excited about this, remember that the conclusions about statins and diabetes did not consider any number of other factors. One of the most important is the tendency among statin patients to imagine that the drug relieves them of concerns about what they eat. Further, patients who require statins may well have had a history of less then healthy eating. Type 2 diabetes itself is a risk factor for high cholesterol. In other words, there are complex relationships between all these issues. And there may be relationships between factors that increase cholesterol to the point of needing statin therapy and an increase in diabetes.

One thing it absolutely true. No study suggests that statins cause diabetes. And the MOST important thing to remember is that the purpose of scientific studies is to help define the next studies, NOT to offer conclusive truths. It is extremely rare that any study conclusively reveals practical truths. It's absurd to react to reported medical studies beyond consulting with your physician. Sadly, there will be people who go off their statins because they don't have the slightest understanding of medical studies.

Of course what is true is that the non-medical steps one can take for heart disease risks happen to also be effective steps in diabetes prevention and moderation.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
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I don't believe anyone suggested going off statin therapy if you are already on it . But for low risk women, looking at it as preventative, or those who do not have excessively high cholesterol, but whose doctors want to put them on it anyway, simply because it's there, I wouldn't go for it. It's overprescribed, IMHO.

I would agree that any drug should not give one license to eat every and anything one wants.

A very large study, with big implications. I plan on following it.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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Like I said, I haven't gotten anything study based in this and I would if there was much to it.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:37 PM   #7
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Interesting. I, too, noticed this on the news this evening. I was on Lipitor for a year, then TRICARE declined, out of the blue, to pay for any lab work for me. In other words, they'd co-op the drugs, but not the tests necessary to stay on it. Since I my cholesterol was borderline (ever notice that every year the numbers for any condition get lower and lower? Is it just to sell drugs, or are we really in danger?) I opted out of taking the drug. I think we all have to look at our family histories and lifestyle. For now I'm glad I opted out, but that isn't to say I'd not go back on them if the profile looked different.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:56 PM   #8
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I find it curious that numbers get lower every year, too, Claire.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I find it curious that numbers get lower every year, too, Claire.
Works the same with diabetes, the "normal" numbers keep getting lower.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:15 PM   #10
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Like GLC said, it's 45% more risk than those who didn't take statins, not like 45% of all those who take statins are going to get diabetes. (Good post GLC!)

My doctor suggested I take statins a few years ago. I knew the statistics (liver disease, etc.) and I balked. I changed my diet and increased my exercise, and I've improved, not enough that my cholesterol is perfect but enough that my doctor agrees now that I don't need statins.

IMO you should always try diet and exercise to address bad cholesterol readings, and should not consider taking your statins as free rein to eat everything you want.

Gluttony is one of the seven mortal sins. Even if God doesn't punish gluttony it appears that Mother Nature does. And there's no appeals board.
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