Statin Treatment-Induced Development of Type 2 Diabetes: From Clinical Evidence to Mechanistic Insights


Statins are the gold-standard treatment for the prevention of primary and secondary cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Despite the safety and relative tolerability of statins, observational studies, clinical trials and meta-analyses indicate an increased risk of developing new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) after long-term statin treatment. It has been shown that statins can impair insulin sensitivity and secretion by pancreatic β-cells and increase insulin resistance in peripheral tissues. The mechanisms involved in these processes include, among others, impaired Ca2+ signaling in pancreatic β-cells, down-regulation of GLUT-4 in adipocytes and compromised insulin signaling. In addition, it has also been described that statins’ impact on epigenetics may also contribute to statin-induced T2DM via differential expression of microRNAs. This review focuses on the evidence and mechanisms by which statin therapy is associated with the development of T2DM. This review describes the multifactorial combination of effects that most likely contributes to the diabetogenic effects of statins. Clinically, these findings should encourage clinicians to consider diabetes monitoring in patients receiving statin therapy in order to ensure early diagnosis and appropriate management.This work was supported by the Basque Government (Grupos Consolidados IT-1264-19). U.G.-G. was supported by Fundación Biofísica Bizkaia. A.B.-V. was supported by Programa de especialización de Personal Investigador Doctor en la UPV/EHU (2019) 2019–2020. S.J. and A.L.-S. were supported by a grant PIF (2017–2018) and (2019–2020), Gobierno Vasco, respectively. A.L.-S. was partially supported by Fundación Biofísica Bizkaia

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