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    Statin use among older women may increase DM risk

    Older women who use statins may be at an increased risk for diabetes mellitus (DM), according to the results of a study published online January 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

    The results of this study imply that statin use may increase risk of new-onset DM in postmenopausal women and that potency or individual statin may not play a role, according to lead study author Annie L. Culver, BPharm, Divisions of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass., and colleagues.

    The authors examined statin use among postmenopausal women participating in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), which recruited 161,808 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years at 40 US clinical centers between 1993 and 1998 with ongoing follow-up. The investigators used WHI data through 2005 for a total of 153,840 women who had not been diagnosed with DM and with no missing data at baseline.

    A total of 7.04% of the patients reported taking a statin medication. Researchers found statin use at baseline was associated with an increased risk of DM (HR=1.71; 95% CI, 1.61–1.83), and the association remained consistent after adjusting for other potential confounders (HR=1.48; 95% CI, 1.38–1.59) and was observed for all types of statin medications.

    “The consequences of statin-induced DM have not been specifically defined and deserve more attention,” the authors wrote. “Given the wide use of statins in the aging population, further studies among women, men, and diverse ethnicities will clarify DM risk and risk management to optimize therapy.”