Intensive-dose statin therapy may pose higher diabetes risk among patients

NEW YORK — It seems that intensive-dose statin therapy is linked with a higher risk of onset diabetes, compared with moderate-dose therapy, according to an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The analysis, which pooled data from previously published clinical trials, found that among 32,752 nondiabetic participants:

  • 2,749 participants (8.4%) developed diabetes. Among them, 1,449 were assigned intensive-dose therapy, while 1,300 assigned moderate-dose therapy;

  • 6,684 (20.4%) experienced a major cardiovascular event: 3,134 assigned intensive-dose therapy, 3,550 assigned moderate-dose therapy; and

  • There were 149 more cases of incident diabetes in participants assigned to intensive statin treatment than in those receiving moderate therapy and 416 fewer patients with cardiovascular events who received intensive-dose therapy.

The researchers, led by David Preiss of the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom, pooled the data from five statin trials that met criteria for inclusion in the analysis.

"Our findings suggest that clinicians should be vigilant for the development of diabetes in patients receiving intensive statin therapy," the authors wrote. "In conclusion, this meta-analysis extends earlier findings of an increased incidence of diabetes with statin therapy by providing evidence of a dose-dependent association."

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