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Atorvastatin use worsens blood glucose control

By Lilian Anekwe

Atorvastatin may worsen some measures of blood glucose control, according to a US randomised controlled trial.

The trial randomised 213 patients with hypercholesterolaemia to either placebo or 10, 20, 40 or 80mg atorvastatin for two months. All doses significantly reduced LDL cholesterol by 39%, 47%, 52% and 56% respectively when compared to baseline.

But patients on atorvastatin also had significantly increased fasting plasma insulin, with mean changes of 25%, 42%1 31% and 45% respectively compared to baseline, and HbA1c levels that were 2%, 5%, 5% and 3% higher than the placebo group.

The team of US and Korean researchers, led by Dr Kwang Kon Koh, a cardiologist at the Gil Medical Centre in Korea, concluded: ‘Despite beneficial reductions in LDL cholesterol, atorvastatin treatment resulted in significant increases in fasting insulin and glycated haemoglobin levels consistent with insulin resistance'

A spokesperson for Pfizer pointed out that study was very small and that a recent meta analysis in the Lancet showed that the slightly increased risk of developing diabetes associated with statins is low in absolute terms and when compared with the reduction in coronary events.

Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2010; 55: 1209-16.

Atorvastatin use worsens blood glucose control, say researchers

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