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New Findings Further Fuels Debate Over Benefits of Crestor

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Washington, DCAn aging population combined with the prevalence of cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Crestor has many Americans popping statins akin to candy, with many doctors recommending statin therapy as preventative medicine. However, while many studies have trumpeted the cholesterol-lowering benefits of Crestor, some point to Crestor side effects such as diabetes. Others have suggested claims about Crestor's capacity to prevent blood clots are suspect.

To the latter point, a broad medical analysis published in PloS Medicine (9/18/12) looked at the JUPITER trial conducted in 2009—a trial that suggested Crestor cut the risk of blood clots in healthy adults in half. JUPITER studied 17,800 participants taking either Crestor or placebo. After two years, 60 participants in the placebo group developed a venous thrombo-embolism v. 34 in the Crestor issues group.

However University of Oxford researcher Kazem Rahimi found those numbers to be low, so Rahimi and colleagues performed a meta analysis of no fewer than 29 published and unpublished trials involving more than 100,000 participants in total.

They found blood clots occurred in 1.0 per cent of participants on placebo v. 0.9 percent taking a statin such as Crestor. "We were unable to confirm the large proportional reduction in (clot) risk," the researchers said, adding that a more modest but perhaps clinically worthwhile effect could not be ruled out.

As for Crestor diabetes the debate continues, even in the face of new data from Harvard researchers that suggests the cardiovascular benefits of Crestor and statins in general outweigh any risk for the development of diabetes. Lead researcher Dr. Paul Ridker, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, noted in a paper published in The Lancet (8/9/12) that the cardiovascular benefits of statins such as Crestor far outweigh the risk for diabetes, even amongst those who are prone to diabetes risk.

The research team's intent was to put the focus on all statins. However, the trial from which data was culled was based only on Crestor, and according to Consumer Health News (8/9/12) was the first trial to identify the possibility for Crestor diabetes.

In the end, the cardiovascular benefits won the day over concern for diabetes risk. And while researchers studying the Crestor side effects noted no significant risk for diabetes in healthy participants, at the same time they acknowledged the risk for Crestor diabetes was influenced by an individual's existing risk for diabetes.

To that point, the study found that individuals with a single pre-existing risk factor for diabetes showed a 28 percent increase in diabetes risk. The risk was such that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required the makers of Crestor and other statins to include the risk on product labeling.

There are other risks associated with Crestor, including Crestor cardiomyopathy and Crestor rhabdoymylosis, a serious condition involving the breakdown of muscular tissue into the bloodstream. But those risks are quite rare. The diabetes risk, in contrast, is one that has had a lot of people concerned, a fact not lost on Dr. Ridker.

"Earlier this year, concern was raised that patients taking statins had an increased risk of developing diabetes, and on that basis many patients stopped taking their medications," Ridker said in comments published in Consumer Health News.

The message researchers want Americans to take home, however, is that the cardiovascular benefits far outweigh the risks for diabetes and other Crestor issues. The caveats, however, remain that while Crestor's capacity to lower so-called bad cholesterol is not questioned, its ability to prevent blood clots, is. And Crestor is certainly a threat to patients who are pre-disposed to the onset of diabetes and carry one, or more risk factors for diabetes.

Natural health advocates note that often cholesterol can be managed without medication, through improvements in diet, lifestyle and regular exercise and thus dispelling the need for medication save for those patients with serious issues. Meanwhile, a Crestor lawsuit will claim that a plaintiff adversely affected by Crestor either didn't need to take the medication at all, or was not properly informed of the risk.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Yes, I am Jerry Tramel. Now exactly one year after the Crestor, I had to have open heart surgery or die! I could not believe this. I went from a Heart Cath in 2012 at 57% blockage to one year with Crestor to a 99% blockage! The Doctors all stated that I could not have surgery again if anything else happens Stay away from Crestor if you can. This is my op[inion.
What is bad is I can't get an Attorney to even look at this, because I didn't get Diabetes! What the heck!

Posted by

on
I have been taken off of Crestor 3 times by my Doctor. My blood work showed a breakdown of muscular tissue in my bloodstream! My Doctor still has me off all Chlorestoral mdeication. We are at the point where the Doctor doesn't know what to do. I am really having some terrible times without medication and have some bad Kidney problems, today.
But, what do you do?

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