Statins use may increase blood sugar and Diabetes risk
Patients taking cholesterol-lowering statins may be at higher risk for developing high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and eventually type 2 diabetes, according to an analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Statins are a group of medicines that can help lower the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood.LDL cholesterol is often referred to as "bad cholesterol", and statins reduce the production of it inside the liver.
In recent years, several randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies have reported increased risk for new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) with statin treatment, particularly with use of high-intensity statins that reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 50% or more.
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The present 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 who ever used statins had a 38 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the study. This risk was more prominent in individuals with impaired glucose balance and in overweight/obese individuals.
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"The findings suggest that in patients who initiate statin therapy, preventive strategies such as blood sugar control and weight loss may be warranted for minimizing the risk of diabetes," said senior author Prof. Bruno Stricker, of the Erasmus Medical Centre, in the Netherlands.
There is a modestly increased risk of incident diabetes with statin use , which may be limited to those with diabetes risk factors.An analysis of one of the initial studies suggested that although statin use was associated with diabetes risk, the cardiovascular event rate reduction with statins far outweighed the risk of incident diabetes even for patients at highest risk for diabetes