A connection between statins and the development of diabetes has been suspected following observational and long-term clinical studies. A recent study from The Netherlands provides more definitive information. Researchers followed 9535 individuals over 45 years old who did not have diabetes at baseline. Their median age was 64.3 years and 58% were women. The median follow-up period was 4 years. Compared with individuals who never took a statin, ever-statin users had a 38% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Having a higher baseline fasting glucose and being overweight or obese were strong predictors of developing diabetes.
This study further supports a link between statin use and development of type 2 diabetes. When starting statins, advise providers to consider checking fasting glucose and calculating BMI. If elevated, measures to address them should be taken (eg, enrolling the in a weight loss program).
Ahmadizar F, et al. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2019;1-10