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Statins Linked To Diabetes in Postmenopausal Women
Postmenopausal women who take statin medication are more likely to develop diabetes, according to a recent study conducted through NIH’s Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). 1
The study looked at 153,840 postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79 at 40 clinical centers across the United States who received treatment between 1993 and 1998 with regular follow-up. The study’s analysis looked at data through 2005. At their enrollment, the women did not have diabetes mellitus (DM).
At baseline, 7% of the women reported taking statin medication. Over the course of about one million person-years of follow-up, 10,242 incident cases of self-reported DM were collected.
Statin use was associated with an increased risk of DM, with a hazard ratio of 1.71. The association remained after adjusting for other potential factors and was observed for all types of statin medications.
Researchers concluded that the risk may be a medication-class effect, but further study by statin type and dose is needed to determine varying risk levels for diabetes in this population.
1. Culver AL, Ockene IS, Balasubramanian R, Olendzki BC, et. al. Statin Use and Risk of Diabetes Mellitus in Postmenopausal Women in the Women's Health Initiative. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Jan 10. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22231607.
Analysis Cements Benefit of Progesterone in Preventing Preterm Births
An NIH meta-analysis of studies looking at progesterone has found that the naturally-occurring hormone is even more effective at reducing the rate of preterm birth among some high-risk women than previously thought. That high-risk category includes women who have a short cervix and are at an increased risk of early delivery. 1
Researchers looked at five previous studies with 775 total participants and found that progesterone treatment substantially reduced the risk of delivery between gestational weeks 27 and 34. Use of the hormone reduced preterm delivery before week 28 by half and before 30 weeks by 42%. The study shows the positive effects of treatment can be seen through 35 weeks.
The meta-analysis also concluded that, for full-term births, progesterone treatment can reduce the likelihood that a newborn will die (by 43%), have respiratory distress syndrome (by 52%), be severely underweight (by 45%), be admitted for intensive are (by 25%) or require mechanical ventilation (by 34%).
The researchers recommend that physicians who detect a short cervix during ultrasound begin treatment of 90mg per day of progesterone between weeks 20 and 37.
1. Romero R, Nicolaides K Conde-Agudelo A, Tabor A, et al. Vaginal Progesterone In Women With An Asymptomatic Sonographic Short Cervix In The Midtrimester Decreases Preterm Delivery And Neonatal Morbidity: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis Of Individual Patient Data American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 12 December 2011 (Article in Press DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.12.003
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