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High-dose statins link to diabetes

A new study has found that people taking high doses of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are at a 12% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Researchers, led by Dr David Preiss from the University of Glasgow, who analysed results from five clinical trials involving nearly 32,700 patients, also found that the high-dose group is 16% less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, compared with those taking moderate doses.

Patients in the high-dose group were prescribed 80 mg statin pills, while those on moderate doses were given 20-40 mg. The patients were followed up for nearly five years, during which 8.4% were found to have developed diabetes while 20.4% had a major cardiovascular event.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 149 more patients on high-dose statins developed diabetes than those on the moderate dose.

The British Heart Foundation said that high cholesterol patients should not stop taking their prescribed statins because of the findings of the study.

Copyright Press Association 2011

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"There are several types of diabetes, but the symptoms can be the same or very similar, and they may include deep breathing, weight loss (unexpected and not a diet), fatigue beyond the ordinary and expected, sores that don't heal, skin rashes, being hungry or thirsty a lot of the time, and frequent urination" - Jenny