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High-dose statins may raise risk of diabetes


Treatment with high-dose statins appears to increase the risk of developing new-onset diabetes, according to a high-profile meta-analysis. 


The article, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at data for 32,752 patients from five clinical trials and found a 12% higher risk of incident diabetes but a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular events among patients on ‘intensive’ compared with ‘moderate’ statin therapy.


‘Intensive’ therapy included 80mg simvastatin or atorvastatin, while ‘moderate’ therapy was defined as 20 or 40mg simvastatin; 10mg atorvastatin or 40mg pravastatin; or placebo.

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Lead author David Preiss and co-authors say in the journal: “In a pooled analysis of data from five statin trials, intensive-dose statin therapy was associated with an increased risk of new-onset diabetes compared with moderate-dose statin therapy.”


The researchers recommend that primary care doctors should check patients with taking statins regularly for new-onset diabetes. 


Journal of the American Medical Association


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