Statin-type cholesterol medications are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the pharmacy. Brands such as Crestor and Lipitor and generic drugs like simvastatin, lovastatin and pravastatin rack up billions of dollars in sales each year. Such medications are especially helpful for people who are at high risk of heart disease. That includes individuals with type-2 diabetes. A new study in The Lancet suggests, however, that statins may increase the likelihood of developing type-2 diabetes. The risk is not high, about 9 percent. The investigators conclude that the benefits of statin treatment outweigh the risks of diabetes. Nevertheless, patients and phsycians should be aware that statins can affect metabolism and raise blood sugar.
[The Lancet, online, Feb. 17, 2010]