Can statins trigger new onset diabetes?

Patients treated with higher doses of statins are more likely to develop new onset diabetes than those on lower doses of the drugs, according to a new analysis of three large clinical trials of atorvastatin. 

The dose-dependent relationship was statistically significant but “modest”, say the authors, who had several declared conflicts of interest, including ties to Lipitor manufacturer Pfizer, as well as CSL, Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck/Schering-Plough and other companies.

Lead author David Waters downplayed concerns and said traditional risk factors, namely high BMI, fasting blood sugar, hypertension and triglycerides, were the most accurate predictors of who would develop the disease, with an increased risk of 25%. Patients on statins who did not have those risk factors had a risk of 2%, he said.

Should the diabetes-statin link weigh into decisions around primary prevention? 

A meta-analysis of statin

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