The success of statins may be fueling the obesity crisis by discouraging patients from losing weight

The success of statins may be fueling the obesity crisis by discouraging patients from losing weight

The success of statins may be fueling the obesity crisis by discouraging patients from losing weight

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

  • About eight million Britons take statins to lower cholesterol
  • Effective heart attack protection can keep you from losing weight
  • This makes them vulnerable to heart failure, fatty liver and arthritis

Statins and blood pressure pills may be promoting obesity because they work so well that some patients no longer try them lose weightexperts warn.

Around eight million Britons take statins to lower cholesterol, and up to nine million take blood pressure medication.

But the heart attack and stroke protection offered by the pill may be dissuading people from taking steps to deal with their growing waistlines, a provocative article in a medical journal claims.

Statins and blood pressure pills can offer decades of extra life.

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

The success of statins may be fueling the obesity crisis by discouraging patients from losing weight

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

An article in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology claims that modern treatments mean that many diseases are ‘not as feared as before’.

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

‘It is a brilliant success that people are being kept alive longer, so that someone who might have died at 60 from a stroke or heart attack lives to be 75.

‘But if weight isn’t addressed, that person could end up with multiple health problems that are partly related to being overweight and taking dozens of different medications.’

But the heart attack and stroke protection offered by the pills may deter people from taking steps to deal with their growing waistlines (file image)

But the heart attack and stroke protection offered by the pills may deter people from taking steps to deal with their growing waistlines (file image)

Over the past 40 to 50 years, people in high-income countries such as the UK have become an average of 10 kg (1.8 lb) heavier, with around two-thirds of adults in this country now overweight or obese.

Evidence suggests that someone with a BMI above 30, which is classified as obese, has a 12 times higher risk of multiple health problems compared to people of a healthy weight.

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

dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, consultant cardiologist and associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘Decades of research have shown that statins and blood pressure-lowering drugs save lives.

If your doctor has recommended them, it is important that you continue to take them.’

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