Abstract 5149: Statin Use and Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis
Background: The beneficial effects of statin therapy may extend well beyond its cholesterol-lowering properties. Such ‘pleiotropic’ effects of statins may include reducing systemic inflammation, improving endothelial function and lowering cellular oxidative stress. Since these mechanisms are implicated in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, statin therapy may, therefore, potentially reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Methods: We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effect of statin therapy on the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Effect estimates were calculated using a random effects model.
Results: We identified 5 clinical trials of statin treatment that reported incident diabetes, which included 42,860 patients without preexisting diabetes. Intervention in these trials included four different statins with a dose range of 10 to 40 mg/d. There was a significant heterogeneity between the studies in terms of ascertainment of diabetes, which was not the primary outcome in these RCTs. We found no difference between the incidence of type 2 diabetes among patients randomized to statins (3.6%) compared to placebo (3.4%) during an average (weighted mean) follow-up of 47.2 months (Relative Risk: 1.05; 95% confidence intervals: 0.95–1.16; p=0.36). The results were similar when stratified by age or specific statin used.
Conclusion: Current evidence from RCTs does not support a beneficial effect of statin therapy on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. RCTs of statin therapy with diabetes as a primary outcome are required to definitively determine the role of statins in the primary prevention of diabetes.