Study Finds Obesity Risk in Patients Taking Cholesterol Drug Pending Lipitor Lawsuit Litigation

Published on May 2, 2014 by Sandy Liebhard

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People taking cholesterol-lowering drugs similar to one named in hundreds of Lipitor lawsuit filings may also run an increased risk for obesity, USA Today reports.

According to an article on April 24th, research recently published on the JAMA Internal Medicine website found a 14.4 percent growth in fat intake among statin users between 2009 and 2010, during which time researchers also saw an increase in body weights compared to those taking other medications. Among other things, research taken over a 10-year period used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, suggested that people on statins like Lipitor may pay less attention to their diets, and take in more calories, because they are regularly checking their cholesterol levels. Researchers from UCLA measured the intake of fat and calories in statin users from 1999-2000 for this study, and compared weights of patients taking non-statin medications.

According to a clinical fellow at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo, “Statin users check their cholesterol levels regularly, so they may learn they do not need to restrict their diet to achieve (cholesterol) level goals.”

464 Lipitor Diabetes Lawsuits Now Filed in South Carolina

Weight gain may not be statin users’ only side effect of taking the cholesterol medication though, according to Lipitor diabetes lawsuits. According to hundreds of cases now filed in a federal proceeding underway in the U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina, the Pfizer-manufactured statin may increase a patient’s risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. A Case List updated April 15th by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) indicates that a total of 464 suits have now been filed in the litigation by individuals who allege the manufacturer’s failure to adequately warn about this side effect in its marketing of Lipitor. Pfizer may have also concealed the alleged association between Lipitor and diabetes in order to protect sales of the drug, according to plaintiffs.

Court documents show an increase in lawsuits alleging Lipitor diabetes after a statin health alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from February 2012. The alert, which warned about the possible association between statins like Lipitor and diabetes followed findings of research published a month earlier in JAMA: Internal Medicine. According to the study, post-menopausal women taking the drug may be more likely to develop the disease.

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