There are several epidemiological studies on the association between statins and incident diabetes, but most of them lack details. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association of statin use with glycaemic traits and incident type 2 diabetes.
Using the prospective population‐based Rotterdam Study, we included 9535 individuals free from diabetes at baseline (>45 years) during the study period between 1997 and 2012. Linear regression analysis was applied to examine the cross‐sectional associations between statin use and glycaemic traits including fasting blood serum of glucose and insulin concentrations, and insulin resistance. In a longitudinal follow‐up study, we applied a Cox regression analysis to determine adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for incident type 2 diabetes in new users of statins.
The mean age at baseline was 64.3 ± 10.1 years and 41.7% were men. In the fully adjusted model, compared to never users of statins, baseline use of statins was associated with higher concentrations of serum fasting insulin (β = 0.07; 95% CI: 0.02–0.13) and insulin resistance (β = 0.09; 95% CI: 0.03–0.14). Ever use of statins was associated with a 38% higher risk of incident type 2 diabetes (HR = 1.38; 95% CI: 1.09–1.74). This risk was more prominent in subjects with impaired glucose homeostasis and in overweight/obese individuals.
Individuals using statins may be at higher risk for hyperglycaemia, insulin resistance and eventually type 2 diabetes. Rigorous preventive strategies such as glucose control and weight reduction in patients when initiating statin therapy might help minimize the risk of diabetes.