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The slight increase in risk of developing type 2 diabetes during statin treatment may actually be a consequence of having lowered cholesterol, rather than a direct effect of the drug, according to Oxford University research funded by the British Heart Foundation.

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The genetic study found that people with genes predisposing them to having lower levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, had a decreased risk of heart disease and an increased risk of diabetes.

The researchers, from UCL and the University of Oxford, used large data sets of genetic information to investigate the possible effects of two types of cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and a form of dietary fat known as triglycerides, on a person’s risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

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