Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/...80112PN&spon=2

Statin therapy appears to increase the risk for type 2 diabetes by 46%, even after adjustment for confounding factors, a large new population-based study concludes.

This suggests a higher risk for diabetes with statins in the general population than has previously been reported, which has been in the region of a 10% to 22% increased risk, report the researchers, led by Henna Cederberg, MD, PhD, from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, and colleagues, who published their study online March 4 in Diabetologia.

The majority of people in this new study were taking atorvastatin and simvastatin, and the risk for diabetes was dose-dependent for these two agents, the researchers found.

Nevertheless, senior author Markku Laakso, MD, from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, told Medscape Medical News: "Even if statin treatment is increasing the risk of getting diabetes, statins are very effective in reducing cardiovascular risk.

"Therefore I wouldn't make a conclusion from my study that people should stop statin treatment, especially those patients who have a history of myocardial infarction or so on.

"But what I would say is that people who are at the higher risk, if they are obese, if they have diabetes in the family, etc, should try to lower their statin dose, if possible, because high-dose statin treatment increases the risk vs lower-dose statin treatment," he continued.

Asked to comment, Alvin C Powers, MD, from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, explained that there were limitations to the conclusions that could be drawn from this study.

Speaking as part of the Endocrine Society, he said: "The first thing is that this study did not examine the benefits of statin therapy, it examined only the risk of diabetes."

With every treatment, there are risks and benefits, and the benefits of statins have been clearly proven in certain situations. In those instances, "the benefit would outweigh the increased risk of diabetes for many people," Dr Powers told Medscape Medical News.