Statins 'could reduce diabetes complications'

Taking statins could protect patients against microvascular complications of diabetes, research has suggested.

Diabetes: statins could reduce complications
Diabetes: statins could reduce complications

The study, published in the Lancet, found that many common complications associated with type 2 diabetes, which can lead to blindness and amputations, could be reduced by taking statins.

More than 60,000 Danish patients with diabetes were involved in the study. The microvascular outcomes of the 15,000 among these who regularly used statins were compared with the 47,000 among those who did not.

The results showed that, after a median follow-up of 2.7 years, people who used statins were 34% less likely to be diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy, 40% less likely to develop diabetic retinopathy and 12% less likely to develop gangrene compared to the control group.

Diabetic nephropathy risk

The risk of diabetic nephropathy was similar between both groups, and the results corroborated previous studies which have suggested that statin users are slightly more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.

The researchers, from the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, said the results were ‘surprising’.

Co-author Dr Sune Nielsen said the research showed statin use was not associated with an increase in microvascular complications, as the team expected prior to the study.

But more needs to be done before its positive effect can be verified. He said: ‘Whether or not statins are protective against some forms of microvascular disease, a possibility raised by these data, and by which mechanism, will need to be addressed in studies similar to ours, or in mendelian randomisation studies, but preferably in randomised controlled trials.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs place first orders from government flu jab reserve as £12m support fund rolled out

GPs place first orders from government flu jab reserve as £12m support fund rolled out

GP practices can start ordering flu vaccine from an 8m-dose government stockpile...

Quarter of government's 8m-dose flu stockpile is vaccine granted temporary approval

Quarter of government's 8m-dose flu stockpile is vaccine granted temporary approval

A vaccine yet to be licensed in the UK accounts for more than a quarter of the 8m...

GPs report drop in older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms

GPs report drop in older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms

More than half of GPs say numbers of older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms...

Failure to involve GPs in COVID-19 test and trace 'a disaster and a national shame'

Failure to involve GPs in COVID-19 test and trace 'a disaster and a national shame'

GPs and primary care teams should have played a key role in the UK’s efforts to test,...

RCGP chair 'livid' over attacks on general practice from 'armchair critics'

RCGP chair 'livid' over attacks on general practice from 'armchair critics'

General practice has risen 'heroically' to unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19...

Remote GP consultations a 'lifeline for the NHS' during pandemic, says Hancock

Remote GP consultations a 'lifeline for the NHS' during pandemic, says Hancock

The rapid switch to remote GP consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic provided...