A 12-year study has found that people who use statins gradually increase their consumption of fat and calories. Researchers used data on statin use in 27,886 men and women participating in a larger health study, including a 24-hour dietary recall interview, cholesterol levels and body mass index.
Statin use in the group more than doubled, to 16.5 per cent in 2010 from 7.5 per cent in 1999. As expected, levels of LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) and total cholesterol both declined more in statin users than in those not taking the drugs.
But daily calorie intake among statin users increased by 9 per cent over the period, and fat consumption by 14.4 per cent, while in non-users there were no significant changes in either measure.
Body mass index increased in statin users by 1.3, compared with an increase of 0.4 in non-users. The effect persisted even after controlling for age, race, education and diagnoses of diabetes and high cholesterol.