Benefits of statins outweigh diabetes risk

A recent study in The Lancet found that the benefits of taking statins are greater than the increased risk of developing diabetes experienced by some patients In a randomised, double-blind JUPITER trial, 17 603 men and women without previous cardiovascular disease or diabetes were randomly assigned to rosuvastatin 20 mg or placebo and followed up for up to 5 years for the primary endpoint (myocardial infarction, stroke, admission to hospital for unstable angina, arterial revascularisation, or cardiovascular death) and the protocol-prespecified secondary endpoints of venous thromboembolism, all-cause mortality, and incident physician-reported diabetes. In this analysis, participants were stratified on the basis of having none or at least one of four major risk factors for developing diabetes: metabolic syndrome, impaired fasting glucose, body-mass index 30 kg/m2 or higher, or glycated haemoglobin A1c greater than 6%. Although statins increased the likelihood of developing diabetes in patients already at risk of the condition, these people were still 39% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease while taking the drug. Patients who were not already at risk of developing diabetes experienced a 52% reduction in cardiovascular disease when taking statins and had no increase in diabetes risk. The benefits of taking statins far outweigh the side effects for the majority of people who need to take them.