Do Statins Raise the Risk for Diabetes?

Published: September 26, 2012

Investigators analyzed 13 clinical trials involving statin use (statin use vs. placebos vs. standard care) in an effort to determine if the data showed a relationship between statin use and the development of diabetes.

Of the over 91 thousand participants who did not have diabetes during the studies, about 4,300 developed incident diabetes within four years after the studies ended. 174 of these people were within the statin-use group (as opposed to placebo or standard care). That represented a 9% increase in likelihood of developing diabetes over the rest of the participants, or an estimate of 1 additional case of diabetes for every 255 patients prescribed a statin over a four-year period.

Causation Not Established

It is important to recognize that since this was a meta-analysis and not a direct study to link statin use to diabetes, no causation for the diabetes rate increase was established. It may well be that other factors not related to statin use could explain the results.


Statins and Risk of Incident Diabetes: A Collaborative Meta-analysis of Randomized Statin Trials. Sattar N, Preiss D, Murray HM, et al. Lancet. 2010;375:735-742. Epub 2010 Feb 16

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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