The most recent study was published online July 9, 2013, by the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. That study found that although the use of statin drugs was associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus, statins could be used to not only lower cholesterol but also decrease inflammation throughout the patient’s body. They also found that adverse events linked to the class of statin drugs were not common. Researchers also found that simvastatin (known by the brand name Zocor) and pravastatin (known by the brand names Pravachol or Selektine) were better tolerated than other statin drugs.
Despite finding that the statins were not associated with an increased risk of cancer, researchers did note that the cholesterol-lowering medications were linked to “significantly higher odds” of developing diabetes mellitus, confirming previous findings. Still, researchers concluded that “As a class, adverse events associated with statin therapy are not common.”
That finding appears to confirm findings published in The Lancet (8/11/12), which found that the benefits of statin therapy outweighed the risks of developing diabetes. Researchers found that although there was an increased risk of developing diabetes in patients who were already at a higher risk of developing the condition, there was a significant reduction in mortality in patients given a statin, and patients who did not have major diabetes risk factors did not show an increase in the development of diabetes. That study, however, was funded by AstraZeneca, which makes the statin Crestor.
READ MORE LIPITOR DIABETES LEGAL NEWS
Lawsuits have been filed by the makers of some statin drugs, alleging patients developed diabetes after using the medications. One such lawsuit was reportedly filed in July against Pfizer, maker of Lipitor, alleging the patient developed diabetes as a result of the medication. According to The West Virginia Record (7/24/13), Betty Pauley began Lipitor in June 2001, and was diagnosed with diabetes on February 10, 2005. Pauley alleges that if she had known about the risk of diabetes, she either would not have taken the medication at all or would have taken steps to monitor her blood glucose levels.