Study shows that use of statins increases risk of developing diabetes by 46%

April 16, 2015

New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that use of statins is associated with a 46% increase in the risk of developing diabetes, even after adjustment for confounding factors. The study is by Professor Markku Laakso, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, Finland, and colleagues.

Previous studies have suggested an increased risk (of varying levels) of developing associated with statin use. However, these studies have had limitations: study populations have been selective especially in statin trials which have included participants at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the risk of diabetes in clinical trials is likely to differ from that in the general population. Very often in previous studies the diagnosis of diabetes has been based on self-reported diabetes or fasting glucose measurement, leading to an underestimation of the actual numbers of incident diabetes cases.

In this new study, the authors investigated the effects of statin treatment on the risk of type 2 diabetes and deterioration of blood sugar control in 8,749 non-diabetic men in a 6-year follow-up of the population-based Metabolic Syndrome in Men (METSIM) study, based in Kuopio, Finland. The authors also investigated the mechanisms of statin-induced diabetes by evaluating changes in insulin resistance and insulin secretion.

The participants, aged 45-73 years, were followed up for 5.9 years. New diabetes was diagnosed in 625 men with either an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), an HbA1c level of 6.5% or higher, or anti-diabetic medication started during the follow-up, and and secretion were evaluated.

The researchers found that, after the results were adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, physical activity, smoking, alcohol intake, family history of diabetes, and beta-blocker and diuretic treatment, patients treated with were 46% more likely to develop diabetes than those not treated with statins.

The risk was dose-dependent for simvastatin and atorvastatin. Statin treatment significantly increased 2-h glucose (2hPG) at follow-up, with a nominally significant increase in fasting glucose (FPG). Insulin sensitivity was decreased by 24% and insulin secretion by 12% in individuals on statin treatment.

Furthermore, decreases in insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion were dose-dependent for simvastatin and atorvastatin. And, after adjustment for all the confounders mentioned above, high-dose simvastatin was associated with a 44% increased risk of developing diabetes, while for low-dose simvastatin the increased risk was 28% and for high-dose atorvastatin the increased risk was 37%. Overall, 29% of participants were taking simvastatin, while 53% were taking atorvastatin.

The authors say, "The association of statin use with increased risk of developing diabetes is most likely directly related to statins decreasing both insulin sensitivity and secretion."

Furthermore, they stress that while the size of the study makes their conclusions reliable, the study sample was Caucasian men, so the applicability to women or people of other ethnic origin cannot be confirmed without further research.

They conclude: "Statin therapy was associated with a 46% increased risk of after adjustment for confounding factors, suggesting a higher risk of diabetes in the general population than previously reported."

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6 comments

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MR166
5 / 5 (2) Apr 16, 2015
Wow what a blockbuster study. Almost everyone I know got severe muscle pains from satins. Also, many of the studies proving their benefits are in question. They look to be at best over prescribed and possibly to be a huge medical fraud.
twelvepackterry
5 / 5 (1) Apr 16, 2015
It appears also that there are groups who DO NOT want this information out there. Meanwhile, statins maime and disable people. Most especially Crostor.
If you will note, now they are trying to find other diseases and maladies that benefit from statin use. You know, they gotta make their money.
alpedrote
3 / 5 (2) Apr 16, 2015
Very interesting articles
loneislander
not rated yet Apr 17, 2015
And here's what it probably means (if this wasn't screened out in the study): Folks who eat a high glycemic diet (and we're not talking about fat here - the science is in on that resoundingly) can control their cholesterol with drugs but the starch and sugar continues to do what it does in every other respect.

And it's interesting that statins (on one myself) are hard on the liver yet, in helping to control cholesterol, it is assisting one of the normal liver functions which has been shut down by that sugar and starch.

So quit with the whooie (responders) svp, think about what this stuff means, not how it can be spun down the threads of some other conspiracy.
MR166
not rated yet Apr 17, 2015
"Folks who eat a high glycemic diet (and we're not talking about fat here - the science is in on that resoundingly) can control their cholesterol with drugs but the starch and sugar continues to do what it does in every other respect."

That is the other part of great lie. For decades people were told not to eat eggs or animal fats. Eat carbs and be healthy they said. This was just more misinformation sponsored by the government and the health community. In reality high glycemic index foods increase the levels of the most harmful types of LDL more than anything else you can eat.
labracet
not rated yet May 07, 2015
Before starting Zocor,my cholesterol was 193,triglycerides,355 and glucose,109.Height 69 inches weight 205.That was Nov 2009.Today my cholesterol is 124,triglycerides,155 and glucose,90.Weight is 193.I eat what I want.Sausage or bacon and eggs every morning.Go ahead.Study me.

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