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Canadian researchers, whose study was published May 23 by the British Medical Journal, reaffirmed the increased risk of being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes while taking Lipitor, which was originally approved in 1996 to lower “bad” cholesterol.

“Overall, we observed a 10-22 percent increased risk of diabetes for some statins,” wrote Toronto General Hospital pharmacist Dr. Aleesa A. Carter and the rest of the team. “After adjustment for known confounders, and compared with patients treated with spravastatin, those treated with atorvastatin faced a 22 percent increase in the risk of new onset diabetes.”

The study examined the health care records of more than 1.5 million Ontario residents ages 66 and older who had started taking either Lipitor or another drug in its “statin” class from August 1997 through March 2010. Lipitor ranked No. 1 in the percentage that expressed the increased risk of new-onset diabetes.

A previous study of women tied the increased risk of diabetes to statins as a whole, Lipitor included. That study followed up through 2005 with 153,840 women ages 50-79 recruited from 1993 to 1998 at 40 U.S. clinical centers through the Women’s Health Initiative, a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Statin use was associated with a 48 percent increased risk of new-onset diabetes mellitus.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published the Women’s Health Initiative study Jan. 23, 2012. Seemingly attuned to that and to other findings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 28, 2012, announced several safety-labeling changes for Lipitor and the other statins. This was one: “Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) have been reported with statin use. The FDA is also aware of studies showing that patients being treated with statins may have a small increased risk of increased blood sugar levels and of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

Many victims of a pernicious Lipitor side effect have decided not to remain trapped, in a sense, on “statin” island. They instead have turned to the experienced pharmaceutical injury attorneys at Reich & Binstock for help in obtaining compensation for their injuries. It costs nothing to get Reich & Binstock to look into whether there is an entitlement to recoverable damages. One may request a free consultation toll-free at 1-866-LAW-2400. One also may submit the electronic case evaluation request form posted on the law firm’s website, www.reichandbinstock.com.

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