A new research has revealed that use of statins can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 46 percent, even after adjustment for confounding factors.
Researchers looked into 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 researchers also investigated the mechanisms of statin-induced diabetes by evaluating changes in insulin resistance and insulin secretion.
The study participants, aged 45-73 years, were followed up for 5.9 years. The study found that new diabetes was diagnosed in 625 men with either an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), an HbA1c level of 6.5 percent or higher, or anti-diabetic medication started during the follow-up. Insulin sensitivity and secretion were evaluated during the study period. 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 statins were 46 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those not treated with statins.
The researchers stressed that the study sample was Caucasian men, so the applicability to women or people of other ethnic origin cannot be confirmed without further research.
The study appears in Diabetologia.