Glycemic Control and Mortality Risk With Statins in Type 2 Diabetes

Statin tablets
Statin tablets
Patients with type 2 diabetes taking statins after insulin initiation had better glycemic control, but their risk for mortality was higher compared with patients who did not take statins.

This article is part of Endocrinology Advisor’s coverage of the American Diabetes Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions (ADA 2017), taking place in San Diego, CA. Our staff will report on medical research and technological advances in diabetes and diabetes education, conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from ADA 2017.

Patients with type 2 diabetes who did not take statins had better glycemic control but had higher risk for mortality, according to the results of a retrospective cohort study presented at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 77th Scientific Sessions, held in San Diego, California.

Researchers from Nottingham, United Kingdom, collected data from a large UK Primary Care database of patients (n=18,227) who had initiated insulin in routine care (mean age, 61.5±13.6 years). They compared changes in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months, as well as the 5-year risk for mortality between patients taking statins (n=15,799) and patients who were not taking statins (N=2428).


At baseline, both groups had similar A1c levels (≈8.6%). At 6 months, patients who took statins had HbA1c levels of ≈8.4%, whereas patients who were not taking statins had A1c levels of ≈8.3%. At 12 months, HbA1c levels in patients who were not taking statins were ≈8.2% vs ≈8.4% in patients taking statins. At 24 months, patients not taking statins actually saw an increase in HbA1c levels, whereas the patients taking statins maintained a similar level from the last follow-up. However, at 36 months, the patients not taking statins had lower HbA1c levels compared with the patients who were taking statins.

Although there was a greater reduction in HbA1c after insulin initiation in patients who did not use statins, the all-cause mortality was lower among patients who did take statins (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.46-1.82; P <.0001). 

Disclosures: Drs Idris and Donnelly report financial relationships with Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly and Company, AstraZeneca, and Boehringer Ingelheim.

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Anyanwagu UC, Mamza JB, Idris I, Donnelly R. Use of statins in patients with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes (T2D): associations with glycemic control and mortality risks. Presented at: American Diabetes Association (ADA) 77th Scientific Sessions; June 9-13, 2017; San Diego, CA. Abstract 1619-P.