HealthDay News — For populations at high-risk for diabetes, statin use is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes, according to a study published online October 23 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Jill P. Crandall, MD, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, and colleagues assessed incident diabetes by annual 75g oral glucose tolerance testing and semiannual fasting glucose among 3,234 participants enrolled in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study, a long-term follow-up to a randomized clinical trial of interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes. Lipid profile was assessed annually, and statin use was assessed at baseline and semiannual visits; participants’ physicians determined statin treatment. 

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The researchers found that the cumulative incidence of statin initiation before diabetes diagnosis was 33 to 37% among the randomized treatment groups at 10 years. Irrespective of treatment group, statin use was correlated with increased diabetes risk, with a pooled hazard ratio of 1.36 for incident diabetes. Adjustment for baseline diabetes risk factors and potential confounding variables related to indications for statin therapy did not materially affect risk.

“In this population at high risk for diabetes, we observed significantly higher rates of diabetes with statin therapy in all three treatment groups,” the authors write. “The effect of statins to increase diabetes risk appears to extend to populations at high risk for diabetes.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Parke-Davies provided funding and material support during the Diabetes Prevention Program; Merck-Sante provided medication, and LifeScan provided materials during the Diabetes Prevention Program and the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Several pharmaceutical, health care, nutrition, and sports equipment companies donated materials, equipment, or medicines for concomitant conditions.

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