We wrote about the risk of diabetes for women in the July issue. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worchester have studied data on more than 150,000 women in their 50s, 60s and 70s. They found that the women who reported using any kind of statin, including Lipitor, at the start of the study were 48 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than those not taking the drugs. Another large statin study, known as JUPITER, found a 27 percent increase in the risk of diabetes even though it was stopped early. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also cited studies linking the use of statins, like Lipitor, to an increase in blood sugar levels, which is often a precursor to diabetes.
In February, 2012, the FDA required that all statins, including Lipitor, warn specifically about some of those health concerns, which include:
• Increases in blood sugar levels (a precursor to diabetes)
• Serious liver problems
• Memory loss and confusion
• A form of muscle injury called myopathy
Many doctors and patients are not aware of the risk of developing diabetes while on Lipitor because the risks were not widely publicized, even though millions of people are at risk. After their introduction in 1987, statins like Lipitor quickly became some of the best-selling medications in history, with sales in excess of $130 billion. According to Reuters, about 25 percent of American adults older than 45 now take them.
If you need additional information on this subject or you have suffered such an injury, contact Frank Woodson, a lawyer in our Mass Torts Section. He can be reached at 1-800-898-2034 or Frank.Woodson@beasleyallen.com.
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