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“Statins have been shown to slightly increase the risk of new-onset diabetes but few studies have been done to investigate their impact on existing diabetes. Such data would greatly contribute to decision-making when these patients are treated in routine clinical settings,” said Hisao Ogawa, MD, PhD, investigator of the LISTEN (LIpid lowering with highly potent Statins in hyperlipidemia with Type 2 diabetes patiENts) trial.
“This would have influenced physicians’ behavior to change the intensity of diabetes treatment more significantly in the atorvastatin group,” noted Professor Ogawa. In fact, more patients on atorvastatin were given an increase in their diabetic therapy to control their initial abrupt rise in glucose (64 vs. 45 subjects; HR 1.46, p=0.05).
“A statin’s impact on glucose metabolism should also be considered along with its cholesterol-lowering potency when making treatment choices for diabetic patients with high cholesterol,” said Professor Ogawa. “Our results suggest rosuvastatin might be more preferable to atorvastatin due to its different influence on glucose levels.
He noted that the study used Japanese-approved dosages of rosuvastatin (5 mg) and atorvastatin (10 mg), which are small compared to standard North American or European doses (10-20 mg and 20-40 mg respectively). “Therefore our results might have underestimated the effects of statins.”
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