Neutral effect of ezetimibe addition to statin therapy on glucose metabolism
Statin therapy with or without ezetimibe and the progression to diabetes
Barkas F, Elisaf M, Liberopoulos E, et al.
Journal of Clinical Lipidology 2016;10:306–313
BackgroundRecently, the relationship of statins with the development of diabetes (DM) has received a lot of attention based on data showing that:
- individuals receiving rosuvastatin had a 25% higher risk for new-onset DM compared with those taking placebo 
- individuals treated with simvastatin or atorvastatin are at increased risk for DM [2-4]
- there is a dose-dependent effect between statins and DM risk 
- more potent statins increase the DM risk more compared with less potent statins 
In this retrospective study it was assessed whether statin therapy with or without ezetimibe was associated with the development of diabetes in 877 dyslipidaemic individuals with normoglycaemia or prediabetes at baseline, during a median follow-up of 7 years.
Main resultsIndividuals with pre-diabetes at baseline exhibited a higher risk of incident diabetes compared with those having normal fasting glucose levels (OR: 11.71; 95% CI: 7.09–19.35; P < 0.05).
- A higher risk of incident diabetes was observed in pre-diabetic individuals receiving high-intensity statin therapy compared with those on moderate intensity statin therapy (adjusted OR: 2.12; 95% CI: 1.06–4.24; P < 0.05) or those not taking a statin (adjusted OR: 4.90; 95% CI: 1.16–20.66; P < 0.05)
- Addition of ezetimibe to statin treatment did not increase the risk of incident diabetes in pre-diabetic individuals (adjusted OR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.36–2.22; P > 0.05), nor in normoglycaemic individuals (OR: 1.05, 95%CI: 0.34-3.23, P>0.05).
- In multivariate analysis, the following factors were strong predictors of new-onset diabetes: baseline fasting glucose (OR: 1.09; 95%CI: 1.07–1.12; P < 0.05), presence of metabolic syndrome (OR: 3.49; 95% CI: 1.92–6.35; P < 0.05), family history of diabetes (OR: 3.03; 95% CI: 1.62–5.66; P < 0.05), duration of follow-up (OR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.02–1.15; P < 0.05), high-intensity statin therapy (OR: 2.04; 95% CI: 1.18–3.54; P < 0.05).
ConclusionIn pre-diabetic individuals, high-intensity statin treatment was associated with a higher risk of incident diabetes. The addition of ezetimibe to statin therapy had a neutral effect on glucose metabolism.
Find this article online at J Clin Lipid
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