Diabetes risk with high potency statins

A meta-analysis has found a significant increase in the risk of new onset diabetes with high potency statins compared with lower potency statins. Moreover, the risk increase appeared to be highest in the first four months of use. 

The study included data on more than 130,000 patients aged 40 or older, with no previously diagnosed or treated diabetes and no prescription for a cholesterol-lowering drug, who were recently prescribed a statin after hospitalisation for a major cardiovascular event. 

The authors defined atorvastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin as higher potency statins and all others were regarded as lower potency statins. 

The study showed that, within two years of regular statin use, patients on higher potency statins had a 15% higher rate of diabetes compared with patients prescribed lower potency statins. 

The researchers estimated that 342 patients needed to be treated with a higher potency statin