Navigation Links
Statins Won't Hurt, Might Even Help, Your Pancreas: Study
Date:8/21/2012

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Statins don't raise the risk of pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life-threatening inflammation, a new review finds.

Putting to rest concerns raised by previous research, this new study finds cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Zocor (simvastatin) may actually help ward off pancreatitis. The pooled analysis of 21 published and unpublished randomized, controlled trials -- the gold standard of medical research -- found that people taking statins were at 18 percent to 23 percent reduced chance of developing pancreatitis.

Researchers also looked at a class of drugs called fibrates, which doctors prescribe for people with high triglycerides, another type of blood fat. Their analysis found a slight, but statistically insignificant, increase of developing pancreatitis from fibrates.

"Statins seem to carry a previously unrecognized benefit of reducing pancreatitis risk, which actually contradicts what was previously reported in the literature," said senior study author Dr. David Preiss, a physician at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

The study is published in the Aug. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach, makes digestive enzymes and hormones including insulin.

Prior studies have suggested that statins may increase the risk of pancreatitis, but the new review of data from trials that included more than 150,000 participants found no such connection.

"This data give us confidence we don't need to worry about pancreatitis occurring from statin drugs," said Dr. Robert Eckel, past president of the American Heart Association and a professor of medicine at University of Colorado, in Denver.

Statins work by reducing LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and studies have shown this reduces heart attacks and strokes, he added.

The story with fibrates is more complicated. Fibrates help to reduce triglycerides, an unhealthy blood fat, while boosting HDL ("good") cholesterol. But studies on whether reducing levels of triglycerides using fibrates leads to a reduction in heart attacks and stroke have been mixed, experts said.

And very high triglyceride levels on their own are a risk factor for pancreatitis.

About 1 percent to 3 percent of people who develop pancreatitis die from it, Eckel said. Symptoms of pancreatitis include severe belly pain, nausea, vomiting and fever.

In the review, researchers examined data from seven randomized clinical trials of fibrates that included data on more than 40,000 participants. Patients, who were followed on average for more than five years, had slightly elevated triglyceride levels -- between 145 mg/dL to 184 mg/dL. (Normal is below 150 mg/dL, Eckel said.)

Among those patients, the analysis showed a slightly increased chance of developing pancreatitis while on fibrates, but it wasn't statistically significant.

Based on that finding, the authors said statins appear to be better than fibrates at preventing pancreatitis in people with slightly elevated triglyceride levels.

What's not covered in this review is what effect fibrates would have on people with higher triglycerides. Typically, when Eckel sees patients with very high triglyceride levels (above 1,000 mg/dL), he first puts them on a low-fat diet to bring down the levels to the 500 to 1,000 mg/dL range before prescribing fibrates.

"The fibrate trials gives us a hint that maybe there was a relationship between the fibrates and pancreatitis, but that wouldn't keep us from using fibrates to treat high triglycerides," Eckel said.

Overall, whether they were taking statins, fibrates or placebo, the number of people who developed pancreatitis in the trials was small -- less than 1 percent.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more on statins.

SOURCES: David Preiss, M.D., Ph.D., physician, University of Glasgow, Scotland; Robert Eckel, M.D., past president, American Heart Association and professor, medicine, University of Colorado, Denver; Aug. 22/29, 2012, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Statins prevent cancer in heart transplant recipients
2. Statins May Help Prevent Enlarged Prostate: Study
3. Are Statins Less Helpful for Women?
4. Turning off key piece of genetic coding eliminates toxic effect of statins, SLU research finds
5. Statins Heart Benefits Outweigh Diabetes Risk: Study
6. New Stool Test Might Aid in Early Detection of Colon Cancer
7. Depo-Provera Birth Control Might Raise Breast Cancer Risk
8. Brain Falters Near End of Life, but Games, Puzzles Might Slow Decline
9. Infection Might Raise Blood Clot Risk for Older Adults: Study
10. Anxiety Might Help People Sniff Out Threats
11. Lung Cancer Screening Might Pay Off, Analysis Shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Statins Won't Hurt, Might Even Help, Your Pancreas: Study 
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “Finding Christ Through Social Media: Year One ... the writer’s path toward true communion with God. “Finding Christ Through Social Media: ... creation of published author Lea Michelle Johnson, a follower of Christ, wife and ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... In 2016 the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus ... Zika-related cases in the Americas within the next year. Lyme disease is one of ... skyrocketing to an estimated 329,000. Yet, Zika, Lyme and other insect borne illnesses are ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... Oklahoma City Convention Center at 10 North Broadway Avenue, will be an educational ... of relevant, practical instruction in the management of chronic pain. , Oklahoma is ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , ... March 23, 2017 , ... March is National ... pack a punch when it comes to maintaining good health. Every day, two kidneys ... your kidneys filter every drop of your blood, eliminating waste, regulating fluid levels and ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... AZ (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... The ... people around the world to manage stress and anxiety. , “Buzzies change the ... neuropsychologist, inventor and co-founder of Buzzies. , Since its launch date in December 2016, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... and GENEVA , March ... on World Tuberculosis Day revitalizes efforts to develop sutezolid ... On World Tuberculosis Day, TB Alliance and the ... the clinical development of sutezolid, an antibiotic drug candidate ... pertains to the development of sutezolid in combination with ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 23, 2017 Research ... Valve Devices Market: Analysis By Procedure, Replacement Procedure By Technique, Repair ... their offering. ... Global Heart Valve Devices Market is forecasted to grow at a ... heart valve devices is driven by rising aging population, growth in ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017  The U.S. Food and ... for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 ... including those who have not received prior chemotherapy. This ... rare, aggressive form of skin cancer. "While ... patients with a rare form called Merkel cell cancer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: