New research confirms that individuals using statins may be at higher risk for hyperglycaemia, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D), prompting the study’s authors to suggest that 'rigorous' preventive strategies such as glucose control and weight reduction may be warranted in patients when initiating statin therapy to reduce their risk of diabetes.
Although previous research has suggested an increased risk of T2D amongst people treated with statins, the authors say many of these studies have lacked details.
Researchers examined data on 9,535 people from the population-based Rotterdam Study who were followed for up to 15 years. Participants were at least 45 years old and free from diabetes at baseline.
They found participants who used statins tended to have higher concentrations of serum fasting insulin and insulin resistance. Ever use of statins was associated with a 38 per cent higher risk of incident T2D (hazard ratio [HR] 1.38; 95% CI 1.09-1.74). This risk was more prominent in the presence of hyperglycaemia and overweight/obesity. The authors said this suggests that “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.”
The findings are published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.