Over the five years of the trial, patients taking Crestor who didn't have any risk factors for developing diabetes didn't show an increased risk for developing the disease.
Patients taking a statin who had one risk factor for diabetes, however, saw a 28 percent increase in their risk of developing the disease.
Moreover, although statins did increase the risk for diabetes among those with risk factors for diabetes, these patients were 39 percent less likely to develop heart disease and 17 percent less likely to die, the researchers found.
"Among those with one or more major risk factors for diabetes, there were 134 fewer heart attacks, strokes and other major cardiovascular events among those who got the statin, but this came with the hazard of 54 new cases of diabetes being diagnosed. This group is already at high risk for getting diabetes, a group who are already considered candidates for statin therapy," Ridker noted.
Patients taking statins who were not at risk for diabetes had a 52 percent lower risk of developing heart disease and no increased risk of developing diabetes, the research team added.
"Among those with no risk factors for diabetes, there were 86 fewer heart attacks, stroke and other major vascular events among those who got the statin as compared to placebo, with no new cases of diabetes at all. So, for this group, there was cardiovascular benefit with no diabetes risk," Ridker said.
Dr. Gerald Watts, the Winthrop Professor of Medicine at the Cardiometabolic Research Center of the University of Western Australia and co-author of an accompanying journal editorial, said that "statins can lead to diabetes if you are predisposed to diabetes and this could be an issue when treating people at low risk of heart disease."
The benefit of statins in preventing heart disease, howe
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