Statin therapy and the risk for diabetes among adult women: do the benefits outweigh the risk
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of General Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Cardiovascular Diseases | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Digestive System Diseases | Endocrine System Diseases | Preventative Medicine
Purpose of review: The purpose of this review was to examine statin therapy and the risk for diabetes among adult women using a selective review.
Recent findings: The literature contains reports of new-onset diabetes associated with statin use. While many studies do not report sex-specific results, there is evidence indicating the risk to benefit ratio may vary by gender. However, the absolute effects are not clear because women have historically been under-represented in clinical trials.
Summary: A review of the literature indicates that the cardiovascular benefits of statins appear to outweigh the risk for statin-related diabetes. However, the effect may depend upon baseline diabetes risk, dose, and statin potency. Rigorous, long-term studies focused on the risks and benefits of statins in women are unavailable to sort for gender-specific differences. Until this changes, individualized attention to risk assessment, and strong prevention with lifestyle changes must prevail.