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Statin Medication: A Diabetes Alert for Women
Statin medication is all the rage. In the effort to lower cholesterol, doctors are prescribing more statins than just about anything else. Yes, as a patient you get those non-friendly bag stuffers for your prescription (that most people don’t read) and your doctor may have breezed by the fact that statin drugs have side effects that can include digestive problems, muscle pain and liver damage. For women, however, the is an even more serious alert: statins can increase your chances for diabetes.
A study was done at the University of Massachusetts Medical School involving over 153,000 post-menopausal women, aged 50-79, that did not have diabetes in the beginning of the research. The research followed these women for 7.6 years. There were adjustments made for lifestyle that may have caused a diabetic situation, but in the end, there was a seven percentile that developed diabetes. The statistics played out that these were the women taking statin drugs. The final findings ended with the fact that women of these age groups were forty eight percent more likely to develop diabetes when taking stain drugs, no matter what level of dosage or length of time on the medication.
The results of this study are absolutely staggering. However, even with the overwhelming information, the general medical community does not seem to be alerting women of the possible dangerous effects of statin drugs. Some within the medical arena feel that the percentages of those that are eventually affected are simply outweighed by the benefits of the statin drug itself. But the side effects of statin drugs actually includes a list that is so long, and in such fine print, that most people bypass it because they actually believe the lowering of their cholesterol level is the most important factor.
You might wonder why statin drugs have become so popular? You must first understand that pharmaceutical companies use a number of avenues to get a cash cow drug onto the market. Once approved, they have seven years to make their big margins until it is released for generics. This means that if they have a drug that may have a particular benefit they will enlist physicians, marketers, drug sales reps and the overall medical community to raise awareness so the drug will reach its highest potential in sales. In some cases, a drug may actually be of more benefit, however, in many cases, the medical condition is elevated to a point where it might even be considered an ‘invented disorder’. The statin drugs have been promoted to the general public through every possible media blitz possible: television, radio, magazines and even through your own physician.
You don’t need to blame your doctor completely, because he or she actually might have thought the statin drugs would be the best treatment to lower cholesterol levels. High levels of the bad cholesterol have already been proven to cause major medical issues. However, the doctors and medical community in general need to examine and expose all of the possible side effects as well as pay attention to these types of studies.
As always, if you are a woman, you need to do some of the homework yourself before you start popping that medicine every day. Post-menopausal women should think twice, and even three times and make sure you have a medical provider that is watching out for
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Diabetes Prevention10 May 2012