Despite positive effects on the plasma lipid profile and vascular events, statin use is associated with various side effects.
Among these, statins might cause a disruption of a number of regulatory pathways including insulin signaling. This may affect insulin
sensitivity, pancreatic beta-cell function and adipokine secretion. The statin-associated risk of new-onset diabetes (NOD) appears to be a
dose-dependent class effect. It still remains unclear whether statin treatment is associated with increased risk of NOD in the general
population or if there are groups of individuals at particular risk. However, according to the available data it seems that cardiovascular
(CV) benefits in high-risk individuals strongly favor statin therapy since it outweighs other risks. Whether statins should be used for primary
prevention among patients with a relatively low baseline CV risk is still questionable, however the results of primary prevention trials
have shown reductions in mortality in this population. Thus, there is a need for randomized, placebo-controlled statin studies with
carefully selected groups of patients and NOD as a key end point in order to resolve queries concerning this issue.
Keywords: Insulin resistance, lipids, new-onset diabetes mellitus, statins, therapy.
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