Statins could lower your cholesterol, but may increase your diabetes risk

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In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found for individuals with diabetes, statin initiation is linked to diabetes progression.

They examined diabetes progression after statin initiation among patients with diabetes.

The study is from the VA North Texas Health Care System. One author is Ishak A. Mansi, M.D.

In the study, data were obtained from patients aged 30 years or older who initiated treatment with statins (statin users) or with H2-blockers or proton pump inhibitors (active comparators); 83,022 pairs of statin users and active comparators were tested.

The researchers found that the diabetes progression outcome (new insulin initiation, increase in the number of glucose-lowering medication classes, the incidence of five or more measurements of blood glucose of 200 mg/dL or greater, or a new diagnosis of ketoacidosis or uncontrolled diabetes) occurred in 55.9% and 48.0% of statin users and active comparators, respectively.

Among statin users, each individual component of the composite outcome was much higher.

In a secondary analysis, the team found a dose-response link, with a higher intensity of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-lowering linked to a greater progression of diabetes.

The researchers suggest that further research is needed to form a risk-tailored approach to balancing the cardiovascular benefits of statin therapy with its risk of diabetes progression.

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