Newly published research (Saremi et al., 2012) suggests that more frequent statin drug use is associated with accelerated coronary artery and aortic artery calcification, so aiding progression of cardiovascular disease and mortality. The study found that coronary artery calcification in patients with type 2 diabetes and advanced atherosclerosis was significantly higher in more frequent statin users than in less frequent users. In addition, statins have already been shown to significantly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (Sattar andTaskinen, 2012), a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Taken together, these findings are worrying, since statins are supposed to reduce cardiovascular problems, not increase them.
For those who are concerned about the risks associated with statin use, effective alternatives include diet, herbal extracts and nutritional supplements, which are not often suggested as a first line approach by GPs.
Saremi A, Bahn G, Reaven PD, (2012) Progression of Vascular Calcification Is Increased With Statin Use in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT). Diabetes Care. Epub 2012 Aug 8. PMID: 22875226
Sattar N, Taskinen MR. 2012 Statins are diabetogenic – Myth or reality? Atheroscler Suppl. [Epub ahead of print]