GP Clinics


Statin Use Linked to Increased Diabetes Risk

Statin use is associated with significantly higher rates of diabetes among patients already at risk, according to the results of a recent study.
Previous research has indicated that the use of statins could be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, but their effects on risk among patients already at elevated diabetes risk is unknown.
For their study, the researchers examined data from 3234 high-risk participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Incident diabetes was assessed by annual oral glucose tolerance testing and semiannual fasting glucose. Lipid profile was also measured annually. Participants were randomized to receive metformin, intensive lifestyle intervention, or placebo.
At 10 years, the cumulative incidence of statin initiation prior to diabetes diagnosis was 33% to 37% among the treatment groups. Statin use was associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes regardless of treatment group, and the risk was not altered by adjustment for baseline diabetes risk factors and potential confounders.
“In this population at high risk for diabetes, we observed significantly higher rates of diabetes with statin therapy in all three treatment groups. Confounding by indication for statin use does not appear to explain this relationship. The effect of statins to increase diabetes risk appears to extend to populations at high risk for diabetes.”

Crandall JP, Mather K, Rajpathak SN, et al. Statin use and risk of developing diabetes: results from the Diabetes Prevention Program [published online October 10, 2017]. Diabetes Research and Care. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2017-000438.