Statin drugs took a big hit in the news today. I always advise my heart disease patients to be thoguhtful consumers of all pharmaceutical drugs, herbs, supplements and other nutrients and to keep their personal knowledge of benefits and disadvantages in the use of any materials for their overall health and well being. This includes impact, both intended and unintended, on the cardiovascular system.
The study published in the Atherosclerosis journal showed statins increased coronary and aortic plaque.
Below, "T2DM" means Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
In the Diabetes Care journal, the published research study shows that more frequent statin use is associated with accelerated coronary artery calcification in T2DM patients with advanced atherosclerosis.
Statins Increase Prevalence of Coronary Calcification by More than 50 Percent!
A new study in the journal Atherosclerosis shows that statin use is associated with a 52 percent increased prevalence and extent of calcified coronary plaque compared to non-users. None of the participants in the study – 6,673 in all – had any known coronary artery disease at the time of undergoing coronary CT angiography (CCTA) – a non-invasive method that allows you to see coronary atherosclerotic features, including plaque composition.
Arterial plaque is a hallmark of cardiovascular disease and increases your risk of all-cause mortality, so clearly, anything that increases calcification and stiffening of your arteries is wisely avoided. And statins seem to fall into this category.
These disturbing findings come right on the heels of another study published in the journal Diabetes Care, which discovered that type 2 diabetics with advanced atherosclerosis who are frequent statin users have significantly higher amounts of coronary artery calcification compared to less frequent users of the drug.
Furthermore, in a subgroup of participants who initially were not receiving statins, progression of both coronary artery calcification as well as abdominal aortic artery calcification was significantly increased when they began frequent statin use.
The authors concluded that:
"More frequent statin use is associated with accelerated coronary artery calcification in T2DM patients with advanced atherosclerosis."
So much for statins being the answer for diabetics... Diabetes is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is why many diabetics are prescribed a statin drug to reduce their risk. Alas, as these studies show, statins actually accelerate the progression of disease.
There are other ways to address concerns with managing cholesterol that are natural, safe and effective. Make an appointment to discover what are your options for cholesterol management.
Making matters worse, statins have also been shown to significantly increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you don't have it already. This is a risk everyone needs to be aware of. In one study, statins increased the risk of type 2 diabetics in postmenopausal women by 48 percent.