The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Statins and Diabetes Risk

In 2012, the FDA required manufacturers of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) to add a warning to their labels about reports of increased blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels.1 Since then, several new studies have been published.

MECHANISM — No mechanism for a diabetogenic effect of statins has been established. Some investigators have proposed that statins may cause an immune response that interferes with insulin signaling.2

NEW-ONSET DIABETES RISK — A meta-analysis of 5 primary or secondary cardiovascular prevention studies in a total of 51,619 non-diabetic patients, with median follow-up times ranging from 1.9-5.0 years, found that 4.0% of patients taking statins and 3.5% of those taking placebo developed diabetes.3 In another meta-analysis of 13 studies ... more      

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