Washington: A new study has revealed statins may help protect against microvascular complications of diabetes.
Professor Borge G Nordestgaard, Chief Physician in Clinical Biochemistry at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark said that since high levels of blood glucose, the hallmark of diabetes, are linked with microvascular disease, and since statins are suspected of raising glucose levels, they tested the hypothesis that individuals taking a statin before a diagnosis of diabetes might be at increased risk of developing microvascular complications.
The investigators examined whether statins reduced the incidence of microvascular complications in more than 60 000 individuals selected at random from all patients with diabetes in the entire national population who were aged 40 years or older and diagnosed between Jan, 1996 and Dec, 2009. The microvascular outcomes of 15 679 patients who had used statins regularly before their diabetes diagnosis were compared with 47 037 patients who had not used statins prior to diagnosis.
Results showed that over a median follow-up of 2.7 years (maximum 13 years), people who used statins were 34percent less likely to be diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy (nerve disease that can lead to foot problems that require amputation), 40percent less likely to develop diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina that can lead to blindness), and had a 12percent reduced risk of gangrene compared to those who had not received statins.
However, the risk of diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease) was similar between the groups.
The study was published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.