Meta-analyses have shown an increased risk of incident type 2 diabetes associated with statin use. However, the risk increase has been estimated to be rather small (odds ratio 1.09; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.17)  and, for instance, more pronounced in the elderly and associated with intensive-dose treatment .
In a recent study by Culver and colleagues , the association between baseline statin use and incident self-reported diabetes during 3 years of follow-up was assessed in 153 840 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative trial. The data comprise follow-up from 1 004 466 person-years. Of the study partici-pants, 143 006 (~93%) were not taking statins and, in these women, incident diabetes occurred in 9166 (~6.4%) women. A total of 10 834 women (~7%) were current statin users at baseline and diabetes was reported in 1076 (~10%) women at 3 years of follow-up.
The fully adjusted hazard ratio for statin use and incident diabetes was 1.48 (95% CI 1.38–1.59). Low-potency (fluvastatin, lovastatin and pravastatin) and high-potency statins (simvastatin and atorvastatin) showed similar risk associations (hazard ratio 1.45; 95% CI 1.36–1.61 and 1.48; 95% CI 1.36–1.61, respectively). Furthermore, statin use was associated with a significantly increased risk of diabetes, especially in women with a body mass index (BMI) below 25 kg/m[+]2[/+] compared with women with BMI of 30 kg/m[+]2[/+] or higher (hazard ratios and 95% CIs were 1.89; 1.57–2.29, and 1.20; 1.09–1.33, respectively).
Importantly, the study reveals that the increased risk of diabetes with statin use was similar within different age groups as well as among women with (hazard ratio 1.46; 95% CI 1.29–1.65) and without (1,48; 95% CI 1.36–1.62) history of cardiovascular disease.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
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