Diabetes Incidence Increases With Statin Therapy Adherence

Findings based on follow-up in a real-world population cohort

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MONDAY, July 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of new-onset diabetes increases with increasing adherence to statin therapy, according to a study published online June 26 in Diabetes Care.

Giovanni Corrao, Ph.D., from the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy, and colleagues examined the correlation between adherence to statin therapy and the risk of developing diabetes in a study involving 115,709 residents of the Italian Lombardy region. Participants were newly treated with statins during 2003 to 2004 and were followed from the index prescription until 2010. Patients who began treatment with an antidiabetic agent or were hospitalized for a main diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (outcome) were identified during this period. The proportion of days covered with statins was measured to determine adherence (exposure).

The researchers found that 11,154 cohort members experienced the outcome during follow-up. The hazard ratios for the exposure-outcome association varied with adherence, with hazard ratios of 1.12 for those with low statin adherence (26 to 50 percent); 1.22 for intermediate adherence (51 to 75 percent); and 1.32 for high adherence (≥75 percent), versus very-low adherence (<25 percent).

"Benefits of statins in reducing cardiovascular events clearly overwhelm the diabetes risk," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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