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Statins may increase risk of type 2 diabetes, says study

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Would healthy lifestyles lower the risks for people who take statins?

Research published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care showed people who take statins, which lower blood fat and help prevent cardiovascular disease, over a long period of time could be 30% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Now researchers in the US have recommended patients who take statins and are at high risk of diabetes should be monitored.

The long-term research followed a 10-year study by the US diabetes prevention program outcomes study (DPPOS) which found people with diabetes were more likely to be prescribed statins, with simvastatin (40%) and atorvastatin (37%) being the most common.

Researchers found in the second study that statin use was itself linked with a higher risk of diabetes.

Although the study was purely observational, researchers said there was also some experimental research being carried out which suggested statins may interfere with insulin production.

They said healthy lifestyle choices should be encouraged in high-risk patients.

Further information

British Medical Journal Open Diabetes Research and Care: Statin use and risk of developing diabetes: results from the diabetes prevention programme

OnMedica: Statin use link to heightened type 2 diabetes risk in some people