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Cardiac Benefits of Statins Outweigh Diabetes Hazard, Even Among Those With Highest Risks for Diabetes

Posted Aug 10 2012 6:35pm

Earlier this year, concern was raised that statin therapy can be associated with an increased risk of diabetes. However, new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) finds that the cardiovascular and mortality benefits of statin therapy exceed the small diabetes hazard, even among those with the highest risk for developing diabetes.  These findings are published in the August 11, 2012 issue of Lancet.

“Our data indicate that the risk of developing diabetes while on statin therapy was limited almost entirely to people who had at least one major risk factor for diabetes prior to initiating statin therapy,” said Paul M Ridker, MD, director for the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at BWH and lead author of the new study. “Yet even in this high risk group, the benefits of treatment in terms of life-threatening cardiac events avoided greatly outweighed the diabetes hazard.”

“What matters for optimal patient care is the balance of risk and benefit,” Ridker said. “The new data will inform physician-patient discussion and ease concern about risks associated with statin therapy when these drugs are appropriately prescribed for cardiovascular risk reduction in addition to dietary discretion, increased exercise, and smoking cessation.”

 

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