Diabetes mellitus (DM), a modern-day epidemic, is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It is believed that statins elevate the risk of incident DM. Multiple trials were suggestive of the hyperglycemic effect of long-term statin use. This has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to include the risk of DM in the product label of statins. New-onset DM with statin use is biologically plausible and can be explained based on the multiple pathways in glucose metabolism affected by statins. Most pivotal clinical trials on statins were not powered to adequately assess the risk of incident DM with statin use, and the results from multiple meta-analyses are mixed. Currently, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommend the use of statins for primary prevention in patients with at least 1 cardiovascular risk factor and a 10-year risk of >7.5%. With the new American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines, the number of patients eligible for statin therapy has increased exponentially, which also calls for caution and increased vigilance in prescribing physicians regarding the controversies surrounding statin use. This article aims to highlight the existing data on statin use for primary prevention in diabetics and nondiabetics and the association of statins use with new-onset DM and its postulated mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine