Diabetes Metab J.  2013 Dec;37(6):415-422. 10.4093/dmj.2013.37.6.415.

Diabetogenic Effect of Statins: A Double-Edged Sword?

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. helee@med.yu.ac.kr

Abstract

Statins are widely prescribed cholesterol-lowering agents, which have been demonstrated to significantly reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, recent trials have reported that statins cause worsening of hyperglycemia and increase the risk of new-onset diabetes. The association between the diabetogenic effect of statins with intensive dose and accompanying major risk factors for diabetes has been demonstrated. However, statins do not appear to have a class effect on insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic patients. Numerous mechanisms have been suggested to explain how statins cause beta-cell insulin secretory dysfunction and peripheral insulin resistance leading to incident diabetes. According to findings from an aggregate of large clinical trials, the benefits of statin treatment appear to outweigh the risk of new-onset diabetes. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to discontinue the use of statins for prevention of cardiovascular events because of its potential risk for development of incident diabetes. This review addresses the currently available evidence related to statin use and new-onset diabetes from a clinical perspective.

Keyword

Cardiovascular diseases; Diabetes; Statins

MeSH Terms

Cardiovascular Diseases
Humans
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors*
Hyperglycemia
Insulin
Insulin Resistance
Mortality
Risk Factors
Insulin
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