In a Finnish study of nearly 3,000 people at high risk of diabetes, those taking statins had higher fasting blood glucose and triglyceride levels and a higher incidence of developing type 2 diabetes than non-statins users.
The study was carried out over a one year period and followed 2,798 individuals that recorded a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, carried out using a modified version of the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score test.
Statins users started the study with higher fasting blood glucose and triglyceride levels. The results showed that statin users experienced a 0.08 mmol/l increase in fasting blood glucose levels at the end of the one year follow up period, compared with a 0.00 increase in fasting blood glucose levels amongst the non-users of statins. Triglyceride levels also decreased more significantly for non-users of statins through the study (0.02 mmol/l decrease for statins users compared with 0.06 mmol/l decrease for non-users).
Incidence of developing type 2 diabetes was also recorded as higher amongst those taking statins. 7.5% of people taking statins developed type 2 diabetes compared with 6.5% of those not taking statins. The researchers note that the number of people taking statins which developed type 2 diabetes was 31 people and so the increase in incidence of diabetes is not as statistically significant as the rise in fasting blood sugar levels.
The study, lead by Dr Nina Rautio and titled ‘Do statins interfere with lifestyle intervention in the prevention of diabetes in primary healthcare?’ is published in the BMJ.

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