A new study has revealed that statins can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and that this risk varies considerably depending on the dose and type of statin used.
The research, published in the latest issue of The American Journal of Cardiology, was carried out by Eliano Pio Navarese, of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Poland, and colleagues.
The team conducted a network meta-analysis of 17 randomized, controlled trials involving nearly 113,400 patients, comparing either a statin versus placebo or high-dose versus moderate-dose statin therapy.
Of the different types of cholesterol-lowering drugs tested, pravastatin 40 mg/day was associated with the lowest risk for new-onset diabetes (7%) compared with placebo. By contrast, use of rosuvastatin 20 mg/day was linked with a higher 25% risk of new-onset diabetes, while 80 mg/day doses of Atorvastatin appeared to have an intermediate impact on diabetes risk (up 15% compared with placebo).
The researchers reported similar findings at moderate doses of statins, leading them to conclude that the relationship between statin use and type 2 diabetes risk is type- and dose-dependent.
“The findings of this large network meta-analysis are the first to provide information on the specific risk for diabetes mellitus associated with different types and doses of statins,” the authors wrote.
“If the findings were confirmed in powered head-to-head comparisons, they would have important implications for the future management of millions of individuals receiving statins worldwide; indeed, a new scenario of statin therapy could be envisaged in which personalized statin therapy might emerge as the most effective and safest strategy.”

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