Statins and New-Onset Diabetes in Cardiovascular and Kidney Disease Cohorts: A Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

Background: Statins have long been prescribed for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and kidney disease. Their benefits and efficacy are widely accepted in current clinical practice, but like any other therapeutic agents, they have adverse effects. One of the emerging concerns with statin therapy is the development of new-onset diabetes mellitus (NODM), a dreaded risk factor for CVD and kidney disease and widely viewed as CVD equivalent. Accumulating evidence indicates that NODM is a consequence of statin use. Methods: We conducted a meta-analysis of studies reporting on associations between NODM and statin use. Based on strict exclusion criteria, a total of 11 studies were selected. Their data were analyzed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis® statistical software and reported as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: The cumulative fixed effect for use of statin therapy and incident NODM was an OR of 1.61 (95% CI 1.55–1.68, p < 0.001). Our results suggest that statin therapy is associated with NODM, such that there is a small but significant risk of NODM among patients receiving statin for CVD prevention therapy. However, this high-risk population also has other diabetes risk factors (such as obesity and hypertension) contributing to the development of NODM. Conclusions: It is imperative that patients on statin therapy be monitored carefully for NODM. However, it can be argued that the risk of statin therapy is offset by the multitude of cardiovascular and kidney-protective effects provided by such an important and highly effective therapeutic agent.

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