Study links the onset of type 2 diabetes to the use of statins

Bahia Media | 05/06/2020
Fonte: Bahia Media
The good news is that a new statin, Pitavastatin, does not interfere with blood sugar levels and can be used by pre-diabetic and diabetic patients.

Data from the Ministry of Health indicate that 40% of the Brazilian population (about 60 million people) have high cholesterol, a factor that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Statins are the first recommended treatment for these cases.

Studies have confirmed that statins help reduce the fat content in the blood and thereby favor the significant decrease in the onset of cardiovascular diseases, but their main function is to inhibit the production of cholesterol in the liver (the largest source of cholesterol in the body) and increase the removal of bad cholesterol from the blood also by the liver, thus decreasing the total-cholesterol level.

"There are countless benefits of using this type of drug, but a side effect can significantly impact the patients' lives. The study published this year by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology revealed that individuals who use statins may have a higher risk of hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and eventually type 2 diabetes.", says Endocrinologist Valdinei Garcia, M.D.

The study involved 15 years of assessment. People who used statins were compared with those who never used this category of medications. The result shows a 38% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in statin users, in individuals who are more prone to develop diabetes.

The main issue is that there are several types of statins: some have been known for a long time, such as simvastatin and atorvastatin. But there are also novel statins, such as pitavastatin.

"Due to its differentiated molecular structure, pitavastatin does not follow the pattern of other statins in relation to the increased risk of developing diabetes, and neither the occurrence of other side effects, such as the onset of muscle pain, being, in the vast majority of cases, better tolerated by patients", says Dr. Valdinei.

Pitavastatin is the latest statin available in the Brazilian market. Several studies highlighting the so-called REAL-CAD (2017) demonstrated the non-interference of pitavastatin in glycemia (blood sugar levels). This characteristic allows it to potentially be used by both prediabetic and diabetic patients. In addition, pitavastatin is seen as a prevention tool, so that individuals with high cholesterol do not have increased chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot properly use the insulin it produces, or when it does not produce enough insulin to control the blood sugar level. Although this disease is often underestimated, it is a serious problem. According to the Ministry of Health, type 2 diabetes increased by 61% in Brazil between 2006 and 2016. The most common complication of diabetes are: significant increase in severe cardiovascular events, such as fatal and non-fatal acute myocardial infarction, stroke, vision problems, lower limb problems, and kidney diseases.
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