Statins are linked to reduced hypoglycemia risk in older adults with diabetes

  • Dubucs X & al.
  • Diabetes Res Clin Pract
  • 28 Jan 2020

  • curated by Miriam Tucker
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Statins are associated with less severe hypoglycemia (SH) in patients with diabetes who are over age 65 years.
  • The effect does not appear to be explained by poorer glycemic control or class of glucose-lowering agent used.

Why this matters

  • Statins raise blood glucose levels and increase risk for type 2 diabetes, but the reverse protective consequence of protection against severe hypoglycemia had not been previously studied.

Study design

  • Single-center study of 389 patients age >65 years with diabetes, of whom 8.5% (33) had experienced ≥1 severe hypoglycemic episode (with severe cognitive impairment requiring assistance from another person) during the past 6 months.
  • Funding: Institutional grant ANR-DGOS; nonprofit patient association ASSERADT.

Key results

  • In multivariate analysis, statin treatment was associated with lower SH risk:
    • OR, 0.34 (P=.01).
  • Insulin treatment (in 43.4%) was linked to higher SH risk:
    • OR, 3.57 (P=.02).
  • HbA1c was similar in the SH vs no SH groups.

Limitations

  • Small sample size.
  • Hypoglycemia self-reported.
  • Single (French) center.