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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Intensive statin therapy, compared with moderate dose, increases risk of new onset diabetes but decreases risk of cardiovascular events
  1. Swapnil N Rajpathak
  1. US Outcomes Research, Merck, North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Swapnil N Rajpathak
    US Outcomes Research, Merck, 351 N Sumneytown Pike, UG2MW-05, North Wales, PA 19454, USA; swapnil.rajpathak{at}

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Evidence suggests that the health benefits of statin therapy may extend beyond its cholesterol-lowering properties, potentially including favourable effects on systemic inflammation, endothelial function and oxidative stress – important mechanisms involved in the aetiology of cardiometabolic diseases.1 However, contrary to such a putative benefit, meta-analyses of randomised trials have recently suggested that statin use is associated with elevated diabetes risk compared with placebo.2 3 In this meta-analysis, Preiss and colleagues reported that intensive-dose statin therapy is associated with a 12% increase in risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with moderate dose statin treatment, thus proposing a dose-response relationship for the statin-diabetes association.


The authors identified statin trials using MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (January 1996 through March 2011). Inclusion criteria for the trials included comparison of intensive-dose …

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  • Competing interests SNR is an employee of Merck.