These drugs are the most commonly prescribed drugs for high cholesterol. They’re so common that researchers think more than a quarter of middle-aged Americans are taking them.
But a new study by scientists at Ohio State University in Columbus now suggests that these drugs may be largely responsible for the current diabetes epidemic.
The researchers checked the health records of 4,683 adults who had private health insurance. They were free of diabetes when the study began in 2011, but they had already received warnings about their risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers followed them until 2014 to see which of them would develop diabetes.
Their average age was 46 years and 16 percent of them had been prescribed statins during the study period.
It turned out that statin-takers were 2.2 times more likely to develop diabetes than non-statin-takers.
Those who had taken statins for more than two years had a 3.3 times greater chance of developing diabetes compared with those who never took statins.
Even statin-takers who never developed diabetes were in trouble, with a 6.5 percent higher chance of high blood sugar than those who had never taken statins. This suggests that if this study had continued for longer, they may eventually have been at serious risk of diabetes too.
Pause and think about this for a moment. This study already shows that two years of statin-taking can triple your risk of diabetes, but because it was stopped at three years, and since even nondiabetic statin-takers had high blood sugar, even this number is probably too low.
It’s clear that the longer the participants took statins for, the greater their risk of developing diabetes, so the researchers knew that statins were causing it.
They ruled out interference from other factors like ethnicity, sex, age, and body mass index, so it was clear that the new diabetes cases were caused by the statins, and not by any of these other factors.
They couldn’t rule out alcohol use and smoking, so that’s worth bearing in mind, but the link does appear to be strong despite this.
This study again shows why it is far better to adopt natural methods to combat cholesterol. There is, after all, no point in fighting heart disease if that means it causes diabetes. You’re just swapping one deadly illness for another.
A regular exercise program, enough sleep, and a healthy diet of foods that prevent cholesterol will make you feel good and they won’t give you diabetes.