The human body produces a certain enzyme that when received by the liver, initiates the production of cholesterol. A class of drugs called “statins” block those enzymes from reaching the liver. As such, the liver never receives the signal to produce cholesterol, so the overall level of cholesterol in the blood decreases. Excess cholesterol in the arterial wall may break off, which can block an artery supplying blood to the brain. Even a temporary blockage of blood to the brain can have a negative effect on the organ. Potential blood clots from excess cholesterol in the arteries could also target the heart or lungs, leading to cardiac arrest.
There has been some controversy over the safety of statins and some reports suggest there may be a connection between exposure to statins and an increased risk for diabetes mellitus. The overall risk of negative developments is generally low, but risks do exist and people who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease should be careful. In 2010, a team of medical researchers led by N. Sattar, from the British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre at The University of Glasgow, conducted a study titled “Statins and Risk of Incident Diabetes: A Collaborative Meta-Analysis of Randomised Statin Trials,” wherein the goal was to further explore a potential harmful connection between statins and diabetes mellitus.
Three central registers of controlled human-subjects studies were used to collect data on the safety of statins. This means that the Sattar team did not gather their own data per se, but instead performed a large review of other medical research studies to determine the likelihood that statin use causes diabetes.
Sattar states “We included only trials with more than 1000 patients, with identical follow-up in both groups and duration of more than 1 year”. In all, 91,140 participants from 13 statin trials were used for the study. Out of the 91,149 subjects, 4,278 developed diabetes within 4 years, and thus a 9% increased risk of developing diabetes was associated with statins. The highest risk of developing diabetes with statins was found to come from the older generation of the medication.
Due to the fact that many people who used statin drugs such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) were unaware of the increased risk for new onset diabetes associated with Lipitor and other similar drugs, a number of Lipitor lawsuits and statin diabetes lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer, the manufacturer of the drug.
If you used Lipitor and were recently diagnosed with diabetes, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation from Pfizer: the publication of studies like the one summarized above indicates that Pfizer knew, or should have known, that Lipitor is associated with increased risk for diabetes. Because the Lipitor Warning Label does not adequately reflect this information, Pfizer can be held accountable for your undue injuries.
For more information, or a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Lipitor lawyers at your convenience. We have the skills, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help!
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