The New England Journal of Medicine published a meta-analysis of trials about statins, drugs that have been successfully used to lower cholesterol. But now the question researchers are asking is: Do they raise the risk of developing diabetes?
One study researchers looked at was called the Jupiter study. In this study there were 18,000 participants who did not have diabetes, but had similar cholesterol levels and certain CRP (C Reactive Protein) levels. They divided the participants into two groups; one group received statins and the other received a placebo.
Researchers found that the group who had taken statins had a higher risk of developing diabetes. However, that same group also had a lower rate of heart disease. Certainly a lower rate of heart disease is much more likely to prolong your life than just an elevated risk of diabetes, but on the other hand an elevated risk of diabetes can be a cause of concern for some people.
Since statins lower the risk for heart attacks, strokes and provide better vascularization for the heart, we would probably say the scale tips pretty strongly in favor of taking the statins. But for a person who has borderline cholesterol and is concerned about developing diabetes, it’s certainly a conversation you should have with your doctor about whether it is right for you.