Statins might be linked to increased risk of diabetes

Researchers have identified a possible association between use of statins and developing type 2 diabetes after following patients for 15 years…


Individuals who take cholesterol-lowering statins may be at higher risk for developing high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and eventually type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study. 

The analysis examined information from 9,535 individuals older than 45 years of age who were free from diabetes at the start of the population-based Rotterdam study and were followed up to 15 years.

Compared with participants who never used statins, those who used statins tended to have higher concentrations of serum fasting insulin and insulin resistance. Participants had a 38 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the study if they used statins. This risk was more prominent in individuals with impaired glucose balance and in overweight/obese individuals.

“The findings suggest that in patients who initiate statin therapy, preventive strategies such as blood sugar control and weight loss may be warranted for minimising the risk of diabetes,” said senior author Professor Bruno Stricker, of the Erasmus Medical Centre, in the Netherlands.

The risk identified in this study was higher than that found in a study that conducted a meta-analysis of 29 randomised clinical trials. This study indicated a 12 percent significantly increased risk. 

The study did not show that statins cause the increased risk of diabetes.

The study was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

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