Dr. M’s Health Points Volume 1, Issue 3

November 5, 2013
Gerald L. Mancebo, MD, FACP

Latest posts by Gerald L. Mancebo, MD, FACP (see all)

Point # 1

Recent review of multiple studies confirms that statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) decrease the risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attacks, revascularization procedures and strokes by 20 – 35%.  High dose statins, however, may increase the risk of new onset diabetes by 6 – 8%, as opposed to low or intermediate dose.  This appears to occur mainly in people who are at high risk of developing diabetes to begin with (overweight, family history).  Cardiovascular risk reduction has been shown in people with and without pre existing coronary heart disease.  The overall benefit of statins is evident, but a possible concern for development of diabetes cannot be ignored.

Point #2

A recent small study suggests that the amount of sleep one gets may influence obesity rates.  A group of children were studied, placing them in different sleep categories.  The ones who had less sleep tended to eat an average of 134 more calories daily and had higher levels of leptin, a hunger regulating hormone.  This study suggests that increasing school age children’s sleep at night could be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of obesity.

Point #3  More Statin Controversy

The FDA has added a warning to statin labels that the drugs could cause temporary memory loss and confusion.  Now, a new study from Taiwan suggests that high dose statin therapy may actually decrease the onset of dementia.  Several studies have found no conclusive relationship between statins and onset of dementia.  The bottom line is the benefits of statins still seem to outweigh the risks in people with multiple risk factors for coronary disease.