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Cholesterol medication may increase diabetes risk in some patients

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

For some individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results, the treatment may be worse than the disease. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicates that some people who take statin medications may be at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A team of researchers from San Francisco General Hospital reviewed the findings of several previous studies of the statin known by its brand name, Lipitor. They found that individuals who have one or more risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as a large waist line, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar, were more likely to develop the diabetes after starting the cholesterol treatment.

However, the researchers were quick to point out that the drug caused only a modest increase in diabetes risk. For some people with excessively high cholesterol, the benefits of medication may still outweigh the modest increase in diabetes risk.

The findings could help doctors determine which patients will benefit the most from the cholesterol medication and which may do better with other options, the researchers said.

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