News Alert: High-Dose Statins Can Increase Your Diabetes Risk

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

High Dose Zocor Increases Diabetes RiskAs you may remember, on June 10 I reported on a new FDA warning about high doses of the statin drug Zocor. Now, new findings reported in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) are adding more fuel to that fire—that high-dose statins (80 mg) can increase a patient’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The JAMA study looked at 32,752 patients and compared the diabetes risk for those taking a daily statin dose of 80 mg, to those taking lower doses. During the five-year course of the study, 2,749 patients in both the high-dose and lower-dose groups developed Type 2 diabetes, but those in the high-dose group had a 12% increased risk!

This isn’t the first time we’ve had findings like this. The famous JUPITER study, which was initiated to prove the benefits of statin drugs on patients with low-to-normal LDL cholesterol, was halted because patients were developing diabetes at increased rates.

Plus, this issue has even touched much closer to home—in my own practice. One of my employee’s fathers had bypass surgery and I just went over his lab work today. He’s on a high-dose statin and both his blood sugar and A1C was elevated—and he’s never had diabetes before. I told my employee her father should cut that statin dose in half.


So, what does this mean for you? If you, or someone you know, is on a high-dose statin drug—I urge you to speak with your physician about lowering the dose.

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