Statin Use Tied to Increased Diabetes Risk in Already At-Risk Patients
Statin use seems to further increase the risk for diabetes in patients already at high risk, according to a secondary analysis in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.
Briefly, 3200 high-risk patients (elevated BMI, impaired glucose tolerance) were randomized to metformin, intensive lifestyle intervention, or placebo. Patients could be prescribed statins at their physician's discretion. At 10 years, roughly 35% were taking statins.
Regardless of randomized assignment, statin users had a roughly 30% increased risk for incident diabetes relative to nonusers, even after adjustment for potential confounders. Among patients randomized to the lifestyle intervention, statin use was associated with a drop in insulin secretion.
The authors conclude: "For individual patients, a potential modest increase in diabetes risk clearly needs to be balanced against the consistent and highly significant reductions in myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular death associated with statin treatment. Nonetheless, glucose status should be monitored and healthy lifestyle behaviors reinforced in high-risk patients who are prescribed statins."