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Jul 20 2011

Researchers Find High Doses Of Cholesterol Drugs Raise Risk Of Diabetes

Posted in Product Liability

The utilization of new and powerful drugs can cause unanticipated adverse reactions to patients due to the unique composition of each person and the other medical treatments they may be receiving, says Alabama liability attorney Keith T. Belt

People who take high doses of cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s Lipitor andAstraZeneca Plc (AZN)’s Crestor have a greater risk of developing diabetes and a lower risk of heart complications than those who take smaller amounts of the medicines, researchers said.

The finding supports work from the same researchers published last year showing patients taking the drugs known as statins were more likely to develop diabetes than those given a placebo, causing the risk of diabetes to rise in parallel with the amount of medicine taken by patients strengthening the association.

The researchers analyzed five earlier trials, involving 32,752 patients, to tease out the effect of the drug dose and those getting intensive treatment were 12 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, the study found. Patients also were 16 percent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or surgery to clear their arteries or to die from cardiovascular disease during a five-year period than those given a smaller amount, according to the research.

Clinicians should be vigilant for the development of diabetes in patients receiving intensive statin therapy making it important to quantify any potential long-term risks, thereby enabling physicians and patients to make informed choices.