HealthDay News — There may be a dose-dependent relationship between statin therapy and new-onset diabetes across the duration of statin use, according to a study recently published in Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews.

Victoria A. Zigmont, Ph.D., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues used medical records to retrospectively assess the risk of dysglycemia and new-onset diabetes among 7,064 individuals with indications for statin use. At baseline, participants were candidates for statins based on heart disease risk but had not started taking the drugs; 755 patients were eventually prescribed statins during the study period (2011 to 2014).

The researchers found that a higher prevalence of elevated hemoglobin A1c occurred among incident statin users without diabetes. Statin users also had a higher risk of developing new-onset diabetes (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.20). The greatest risk of developing new-onset diabetes was seen among those taking statins for two years or longer (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.33), with no differences seen by statin class or intensity of dose.

“As lifestyle programs like the Diabetes Prevention Program are promoted in primary care settings, we hope physicians will integrate and insurers support healthy lifestyle strategies as part of the optimal management of individuals at risk for both new-onset diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” the authors write.

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