In the midst of mounting concerns that researchers may have overstated the benefits of statin drugs and downplayed their risks in previous research, a new study has linked the use of popular cholesterol drugs like Lipitor and Zocor to a nearly 50% increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of Lipitor or another potentially dangerous medication, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by allegedly defective drugs, and can help put you in touch with a reputable attorney who has experience handling Lipitor claims.
In this new study, published in the medical journal Diabetologia on March 4, researchers looked at data involving nearly 9,000 patients between the ages of 45 and 73 who were followed up with for six years. Among the study participants diagnosed with diabetes, the researchers found that those prescribed either Lipitor or Zocor faced a dose-dependent increased risk of the disease, meaning the higher the dose, the more likely a diabetes diagnosis. Overall, the researchers noted that the risk of Type 2 diabetes rose by about 46% for the study participants taking the statin drugs Lipitor and Zocor, although they did not find an increased diabetes risk associated with other statin medications.
In a recent review of clinical trials involving popular statins, researchers wrote that the effectiveness of the cholesterol drugs has been overstated, and the risk of side effects has been significantly downplayed in recent studies. “The higher risk of type 2 diabetes found in our study suggests that previous studies may have underestimated the significance of statin-induced diabetes,” the researchers concluded. “Individuals who developed diabetes on statin therapy in our study had a similar metabolic risk factor profile at baseline to those who developed diabetes without statin therapy, suggesting that statin treatment increased the risk of diabetes independently of the risk profile of the background population.”
This new Diabetologia study is the latest in a growing body of research suggesting a strong connection between statin medications and an increased risk of diabetes side effects. In September 2014, a study published in the journal The Lancet found that the enzyme that statin drugs are designed to act upon to control cholesterol is also linked to a number of factors affecting blood sugar. Two months earlier, Italian researchers published a study in the medical journal Diabetes Care, indicating that the longer patients take Lipitor and other statin drugs, the higher their risk of developing diabetes side effects.
In February 2012, the FDA required the makers of popular cholesterol drugs like Lipitor and Crestor to add new warnings to their labels highlighting the potential for the medications to impact blood sugar levels in patients and cause diabetes. However, critics say that the warnings are still not strong enough, indicating that patients and medical professionals should be provided with more accurate information about the potential risk of diabetes from statins. If you took Lipitor, Zocor or another statin drug in the past, and you have been diagnosed with diabetes, contact a knowledgeable product liability lawyer today to discuss your legal options.