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Statins’ success may be fuelling obesity crisis by discouraging patients from losing weight

The success of statins may fuel the obesity crisis by discouraging patients from losing weight, experts say

  • About eight million Britons take statins to lower their cholesterol
  • The effective protection against heart attacks can distract from losing weight
  • This makes them vulnerable to heart failure, fatty liver and arthritis

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Statins and blood pressure tablets may contribute to obesity because they work so well that some patients may stop trying to lose weight, experts warn.

About eight million Britons take statins to lower their cholesterol, and up to nine million take drugs to lower blood pressure.

But the heart attack and stroke protection the pills provide may distract people from taking steps to address their growing waistlines, a provocative article in a medical journal suggests.

Statins and blood pressure tablets can live decades longer.

But those who live longer with excess weight because of such drugs are at greater risk for a long list of obesity-related diseases, such as heart failure, fatty liver and arthritis.

Statins And Blood Pressure Tablets May Fuel Obesity Because They Work So Well Some Patients May Stop Trying To Lose Weight, Experts Warn (File Image)

Statins and blood pressure tablets may fuel obesity because they work so well some patients may stop trying to lose weight, experts warn (file image)

The opinion piece in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology claims that modern treatments mean many diseases are “no longer feared as they used to be.”

Lead author Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said: ‘Better treatments such as statins and blood pressure tablets… are indirectly helping to fuel the obesity crisis.

“It’s a wonderful success that people are being kept alive longer, so that someone who might have died at age 60 from a stroke or heart attack, lives up to 75 years.

“But if weight isn’t discussed, that person could develop multiple health problems, some of which are related to being overweight and to dozens of different medications.”

But The Heart Attack And Stroke Protection The Pills Provide May Distract People From Taking Steps To Address Their Growing Waistlines (File Image)

But The Heart Attack And Stroke Protection The Pills Provide May Distract People From Taking Steps To Address Their Growing Waistlines (File Image)

But the heart attack and stroke protection the pills provide may distract people from taking steps to address their growing waistlines (file image)

Over the past 40 to 50 years, people in high-income countries such as the UK have gained an average of 10kg in weight, with around two-thirds of adults in this country now being overweight or obese.

There is some evidence that someone with a BMI over 30, who is classified as obese, is 12 times more likely to suffer from multiple health problems compared to people of a healthy weight.

Professor Sattar added: ‘When someone is on blood pressure pills, it’s the perfect time to think about their lifestyle. But health care providers rarely talk about it. We need better health policies to prevent obesity.’

Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, cardiologist and associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘Decades of research have shown that statins and antihypertensive drugs save lives.

If these have been recommended by your doctor, it is essential that you continue to take them.’

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Jacky

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

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