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For those taking certain cholesterol-lowering drugs, this will not come as good news. A new study suggests that certain statins, the widely-used cholesterol lowering drugs, may increase your chances of developing type-two diabetes. The risk was greatest for those taking Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor.
Researchers focused on a half million Ontario residents and found the overall odds of developing diabetes were low in patients with prescribed statins. Still, people taking Lipitor had a 22% higher risk of early-onset diabetes, Crestor users had an 18% higher risk and those on Zocor had a 10% increased risk. All of this was relative to those taking yet another statin, Pravachol. Pravachol appears to have a favorable effect on diabetes.
Researchers say this doesn't mean people should stop taking their statins. The study only showed an association between statin use and a higher risk of diabetes. It did not prove a cause and effect relationship.
One doctor says while this is an important study evaluating the relationship between statins and the risk of diabetes, the study has several flaws that make it difficult to generalize the results. There was no data regarding weight, ethnicity and family history. All of those are important risk factors for development of diabetes.
Another researcher wrote, "The overall benefit of statins still clearly outweighs the potential risk of incident diabetes."
People with type-two diabetes have higher than normal blood-sugar levels because their bodies don't make or properly use insulin. Researchers said it's possible that certain statins impair insulin secretion and inhibit insulin release, which could help explain the findings.
Americans are still making unhealthy choices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent in Atlanta issued a report this week.
That report says the overall health of Americans isn't improving very much, with about six in ten people either overweight or obese and large numbers engaging in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking or not exercising.
The report found that we continue to make many of the life3style choices that have led to soaring rates of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses including the following:
The one bright spot came in the area of sleep behavior. About seven in ten adults meet the federal objective for sufficient sleep.
This one seems like a no-brainer to me - probably because of personal experience. There was a time when I was extremely overweight, I suffered from regular bouts of heartburn. Then when I lost the weight, those bouts didn't just reduce, they disappeared. It was obvious to me that being overweight had a lot to do with heartburn. Now a new study apparently confirms my thoughts.
It says obese men and women who suffer from heartburn often report relief when they lose weight. The researchers tracked the effects of weight loss over a year in patients who had a persistent form of heartburn known as gastroesophageal reflux or GERD.
Heartburn or acid indigestion is very common, with more than 60 million Americans having it every month. Stomach acid flows back into the esphophagus and the burn begins.
GERD, the most frequent, chronic form of heartburn, can lead to complications if left untreated, including a narrowing of the esophagus or precancerous changes in the esophageal lining.
At the beginning of the study, 38% had heartburn scores severe enough to be classified as GERD. They weighed an average of 220 pounds at the time. After six months, the patients' average weight fell to 183 pounds and only 16% still had GERD.
During the weight loss portion of the study, participants were also asked to get a moderate amount of exercise. So researchers still aren't sure what played the major role in the decrease of GERD...weight loss or exercise.