Statin therapy and related risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus.Eur J Intern Med 2014; 25(5):401-6EJ
The use of statins for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention is clearly supported by clinical evidence. Although statin therapy is rather well tolerated, recent data from prospective and retrospective clinical trials and related meta-analyses suggest an increased incidence of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in association with such treatment. The incidence of this adverse effect is not negligible, especially for specific subsets of patients, such as women, elderly, presence of familial history of T2DM and Asian ethnicity. Statin-driven T2DM appears to be a medication class-effect, mostly not related to potency nor to individual statin, as well as to be independent of previous history of CVD. Therefore, implementation of strategies for identification of patients using statins and at specific risk of incident T2DM, as well as of different therapeutic options is important and is discussed in this article. As most authors emphasized that benefits of CVD reduction by statin therapy seem to far exceed the risk of T2DM development itself, these medications remain the cornerstone for primary and secondary CVD prevention, although a specific attention to glucose metabolism and metabolic syndrome features should be payed before and during statin treatment, especially in cohorts at greater risk.