Statin use in postmenopausal women may increase diabetes risk

A recent study published online by the Archives of Internal Medicine found that the risk for diabetes increases in postmenopausal women who use statins.

The researchers, led by Annie L. Culver, BPharm, from the Rochester Methodist Hospital, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., analyzed information from the national, multiyear Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). They used data through 2005, which included 153,840 women without diabetes with a mean age of 63.2 years. At baseline, 7.04% of the women reported taking statin medication, according to a press release.

After adjusting for variables including age, race, ethnicity and body mass index, 10,242 new cases of diabetes were found to be associated with the use of statin medication at baseline.

“The results of this study imply that statin use conveys an increased risk of new-onset diabetes mellitus (DM) in postmenopausal women. In keeping with the findings of other studies, our results suggest that statin-induced DM is a medication class effect and not related to potency or to an individual statin,” the researchers stated in the release.

The researchers acknowledge that more studies must be conducted to further explore this association and that neither the current American Diabetes Association guidelines of statins for primary and secondary prevention or statin use in the nondiabetic population should change.

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