Statin medications like Lipitor & Crestor have been studied extensively. Recently a very large study looking at many drug trials has suggested an slight increase risk in diabetes on these medications, with risk going up as the dose is increased.
This study in JACC:
shows that there is a very slight increase risk in diabetes for patients on Lipitor.
Although a negative effect of the medication, it is felt that the benefits of the medication outweigh the downside.
Such studies, noting findings many years after a medication has been used (Lipitor is 17 years old) make us aware of the unexpected side effects of medications that can escape our notice and that we need to consider these unintended consequences at all time.
This is why using Statins, although important, needs to be reserved for patients with significant risk for heart disease, and not just to ‘treat the numbers’ that are elevated.
For instance….and older woman without other cardiovascular risk factors and a cholesterol over 280 would certainly see a decline in their numbers on Lipitor, but they don’t have enough statistical risk to warrant such treatment. We determine this risk with statistical methods developed from the Framingham Study.
You can see these link for determining risk at: