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Diabetes

Statins may be linked with type 2 diabetes risk in prospective study

Researchers found that ever use of statins was associated with a 38% higher risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with never use.

Use of statins may be associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, results from a prospective study show (5 March 2019)[1].

Researchers analysed data on 9,535 people without diabetes at baseline who were followed up from 1997 to 2012.

During a median follow-up of four years, it was found that ever use of statins was associated with a 38% higher risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with never use. When stratified by body mass index (BMI), this relationship was only significant in overweight and obese people (hazard ratio: 1.42) and not in those with a normal BMI.

Baseline statin users also had higher concentrations of serum fasting insulin and insulin resistance compared with non-users.

The researchers explained that several observational studies had identified an elevated risk of incident type 2 diabetes in statin users. They said the findings underlined the importance of managing lifestyle factors when treating patients with statins.

Writing in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the researchers said: “It is necessary to take statin diabetogenicity into consideration in clinical practice when statin is indicated, emphasising the concomitant need for dietary measures and exercise.”

  • This article was amended on 1 May 2019 to clarify that statin use may be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2019.20206385

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