Statins Increase Diabetes Risk for Postmenopausal Women

Association significant even after adjusting for variables; seen for all types of statins

MONDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women taking statin medications have an increased risk of incident diabetes mellitus (DM), according to an analysis published online Jan. 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Anne L. Culver, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues investigated the correlation between new-onset DM and statin use among postmenopausal women. Data were analyzed for 153,840 women without DM at baseline, aged 50 to 79 years, recruited for the Women's Health Initiative from 1993 to 1998 with ongoing follow-up. Statin use was recorded at enrollment (7.04 percent at baseline) and at year three, and incident DM status was assessed annually.

The investigators found that, during the 1,004,466 person-years of follow-up, there were 10,242 incident cases of self-reported DM. Baseline statin use was associated with an elevated risk of DM (hazard ratio [HR], 1.71). After adjusting for potential confounders, the association remained significant (HR, 1.48) and was seen with all statin medications. These results were confirmed in subset analyses assessing longitudinal measures of statin use in 125,575 women.

"Given the wide use of statins in the aging population, further studies among women, men, and diverse ethnicities will clarify DM risk and risk management to optimize therapy," the authors write.

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