I have done several posts detailing risks associated with taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol in an effort to improve heart health. You can type “heart health” or “cholesterol” into the search box and quite a few past posts will pop up or look at these two here and here for two of the most popular.
A recent update on one of the more alarming “side effects” is this: while research has shown that taking a statin drug increases the risk of developing diabetes, recent data shows statins double your risk of Type 2 diabetes, and when taken for more than two years may even triple your risk. That is no small thing! Diabetes is a very serious and debilitating disease and I would strongly recommend avoiding anything that increases your risk of developing it!
Statins deplete CoQ10 and vitamin K2 which are critical for heart health as well as in preventing certain cancers. Additional risks linked to statin use include neurodegenerative diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, cataracts and heart disease. (Isn’t that what you are taking the drug to prevent in the first place?)
I caution you to read any impressive risk reduction information carefully as much of this info is presented in a highly misleading way. According to one study, the actual difference in rates of coronary death in the population was 9% in the placebo group and 6.7% in those who were treated with statins. The difference between the treated and untreated groups was actually 2.3% and not the inflated relative risk of 28%. While the reduction in relative risk appears impressive to some readers, this form of data presentation is misleading. I explained the critical difference between relative risk reduction and absolute risk reduction briefly here.
Numerous studies have now proven that cholesterol is not a risk factor for heart disease. If that wasn’t distressing enough, keep in mind that primary prevention trials of statin drugs indicated that they will only extend life anywhere between 3.2 and 4.1 days!! Factor in the possible health risks and make your own informed decision as to whether these drugs are worth the risk.
Would you consider taking a statin knowing these risks?
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WOW! I’ve been taking several different statin drugs for over twenty years now Ms. Ann. Have had multiple stents placed, have LV ischemia that causes the worst angina in the world (to me anyway), and have just recently been moved to a U-500 insulin to help control my Type II diabetes, as I’ve become insulin resistant in the past eighteen years or so since being diagnosed. Why, I wonder, am I just hearing about that now, and not from my doctors? Thank you so much. Will be looking to learn more ma’am.
Oh J.D. you are dealing with so much! You don’t hear about this from doctors because they are trained to go right to drugs. My husband has always had high cholesterol and I did several posts in the past about our experience. His doctors also immediately recommended statins but thankfully he listened to me and refused them. We changed his diet and it took some time and it is an ongoing process but he has done really well – even his doctor reluctantly had to agree.
These posts about the drugs are terrifying. I just hope that we’re able to manage our health through diet and exercise so that we’re never in the position that we need to make these choices.
I’m right there with you Holly. And I believe we always have options and these dangerous drugs can be a last resort if they’re needed at all.