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I take Crestor for high cholesterol. Should I worry about an increased risk of diabetes?

Statins are prescription medications that slow down the production of cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase. More than 32 million Americans take statin drugs, putting Lipitor, Crestor, and Zocor among the most-prescribed drugs in the United States.

Some doctors believe that the benefits of statins are so great that anyone with elevated cholesterol should take the drugs. But studies have found that statins aren’t always beneficial, and they can have serious side effects. Statins are associated with memory loss, muscle weakness, cataracts, and diabetes.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that prevents the body from being able to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar. Diabetes affects the whole body. One of the most serious effects of diabetes is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease—the very condition that statins are supposed to prevent.

Taking a statin doesn’t mean that you will develop diabetes. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School followed the medical records of 153,840 postmenopausal women without diabetes who were taking statin drugs. At the end of the study, 10,242 of the participants had been diagnosed with diabetes. Based on these results, the scientists determined that women taking statins are 50 percent more likely to diabetes than women who do not take statins. Another study found that 17.5 percent of patients who develop diabetes while taking Lipitor suffer a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack. Both studies were published in the journal BMJ.

While this sounds alarming, it doesn’t mean that you should stop taking your medication. Only 7 out of every 100 women taking statins will develop diabetes. You and your doctor should use your medical history and risk factors to determine if the benefits of taking Crestor outweigh the risks.

Every patient deserves the opportunity to make an informed decision. When you take a prescription drug, you have a right to know about the risks. If you were diagnosed with diabetes while taking Crestor, you have a right to demand accountability. The Milwaukee pharmaceutical injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham are currently investigating Crestor diabetes claims. To schedule a free consultation to see if you may be eligible for compensation, please contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.


Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham