Statins Increase Diabetes Risk by up to 50% in Older Women

Statins Increase Diabetes Risk by up to 50% in Older Women – By Pam Harrison – March 2017

Statin therapy increases the risk of new-onset diabetes in elderly women by 33%, and the higher the dose, the greater the risk, a new analysis of the observational Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health shows.

The new analysis included 8372 Australian women aged between 76 and 82 years at baseline who were followed for 10 years; it is published in the March issue of Drugs and Aging.

Dr Jones and colleagues note that the majority of participants in statin trials have been males and that females, especially elderly ones, have been underrepresented.  

Previous studies have also shown an association between use and onset of diabetes, he and his colleagues add, and while often the benefits of statins are said to outweigh the risk of diabetes, this depends on the indication for statins in the first place.

“We found that almost 50% [49%] of women in their late seventies and eighties in the study took statins, and 5% were diagnosed with new-onset diabetes,” Dr Jones noted.

Risk of Diabetes Ranged From 17% to 51%.

The risk of new-onset diabetes went from a low of 17% with the lowest doses of a statin to a high of 51% for those taking the highest doses.

The results suggest “elderly women should not be exposed to higher doses of statins,” they add.

How many studies and how much proof is required to enact a change in medical guidelines that are obsolete and no longer aligned with evidence?

The same situation is happening with the “opioid crisis”: the facts are disregarded.

This is not news: it was already known in 2015, but simply ignored.

The Statin Diabetes Conundrum – Evid Based Med. 2015 – By Robert J DuBroff

Statin drugs have become the mainstay of many cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines and are recommended for most adult patients with diabetes.

A careful review of the evidence, however, suggests that the clinical benefits of statins in diabetes may have been overstated by relying on meta-analyses that incorporate randomised controlled trials (RCTs) neither designed nor powered to assess the effects of statins in diabetes.

Reports that conclude that the benefits of statins outweigh the risks have probably underestimated the long-term risks of statin exposure and the deleterious consequences of long-term diabetes.


The recent finding that statin drugs may cause diabetes, and the US Food and Drug Administration requirement that statin manufacturers disclose this risk has led to numerous reports, studies, reviews and commentaries.

The consensus opinion is reassuring—there is a modest increased risk of diabetes from statin drugs, but the benefits outweigh the risks in appropriately selected patients

Most perplexing is the fact that one study suggests statins may protect against diabetes (WOSCOPS) while others suggest statins may cause diabetes.

This means it depends on the individual patient.

Population studies do not apply to individual patients for this very reason.

Largest Risk for Diabetes With Statins Yet Seen, in New Study – By Liam Davenport – Mar 2015

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

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.

Statins Appear to Affect Insulin Secretion and Sensitivity

in previous studies the diagnosis of diabetes has been based on self-reported diabetes or fasting glucose measurement, leading to an underestimation of the actual numbers of incident diabetes cases.


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