Statins and Diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes affects over 29 million in the United States. There are different types of diabetes that a person can have.

  1. Type 1 Diabetes (aka Insulin Dependent Diabetes)   Diabetes

*Juvenile onset diabetes

*Autoimmune disease

*The body does not produce insulin

*5% of people with diabetes have this type

*Beta cells of pancreas are attacked by the misdirected immune system.

  1. Type 2 Diabetes (aka Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes)

*Adult onset diabetes

*The body does produce insulin, but does so inadequately for the body’s needs.

*90-95% of people with diabetes have this type

  1. Gestational Diabetes

*High blood glucose levels during pregnancy

*Usually affects the mother in late pregnancy around weeks 20-24.

*Pancreas works overtime to produce insulin, but the insulin doesn’t lower the high blood glucose levels.

If you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Over time, this can cause problems with other body functions, such as your kidneys, nerves, feet and eyes. Having diabetes can also put you at a higher risk for heart disease and bone and joint disorders. Other long-term complications of diabetes include skin problems, digestive problems, sexual dysfunction, and problems with your teeth and gums.

In a study of nearly 26,000 beneficiaries of Tricare, the military health system, those taking statin drugs to control their cholesterol were 87 percent more likely to develop diabetes. The research confirms past findings on the link between the widely prescribed drugs and diabetes risk. But it is among the first to show the connection in a relatively healthy group of people. The study included only people who at baseline were free of heart disease, diabetes, and other severe chronic disease.

Source: Veterans Affairs Research Communications. “Strong statin-diabetes link seen in large study.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150507145328.htm>.