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Statins Increase Risk of Developing Diabetes in Older Women

By jeremyc | March 18, 2017

Statins are commonly prescribed for elderly women who have high blood cholesterol levels. However, how statins affect this group has not been thoroughly studied. A recent study suggests the risk of diabetes might be considerably higher in older women who take statins.

Statins belong to the class of drugs that lower cholesterol levels in blood. The liver is the main organ responsible for producing cholesterol. Statins work by reducing the amount of cholesterol the liver produces. It also assists the liver in removing excess cholesterol in blood.

An important compound, cholesterol is needed for many bodily functions. However, too much of cholesterol spells bad news. Excess cholesterol deposit itself in form of plaque on the walls of arteries. Plaque buildup is a serious risk factor for heart disease, which causes more deaths than any other health condition in the U.S.

For this study, the researchers went through data of more than 8,000 older women.

The researchers found that women who took statins were 33 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those who don’t use statins. The risk of developing diabetes in this group increased with higher doses of statins. Women taking statin in highest dosage were found to have a 51 percent greater risk of diabetes.

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