Diabetes & Statins

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Statins are drugs that are prescribed to you in order to lower your cholesterol level (the amount of cholesterol in your blood) by preventing your liver from being able to make any more cholesterol. This means that they reduce the amount of low density lipoproteins (LDL) in your blood (where LDLs are the “bad” cholesterol). High LDL levels increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke because the cholesterol can be deposited inside your blood vessels where they can block them and prevent blood flowing to your vital organs (such as your lungs or brain) or cause you to have a high blood pressure. If you have recently been prescribed statins it will either be because you have previously had some form of cardiovascular disease or because you are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Diabetes increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease because your high blood sugar increases your blood pressure which puts extra pressure on your heart. So, if you are diabetic your GP may discuss statins with you to try to minimise your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. You are more likely to be prescribed statins if you are overweight (as this also increases your risk of cardiovascular disease) but if you are worried about your heart then you should discuss this with your GP who will be able to take you through the pros and cons of taking statins that will be particular to your health needs.

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