Statin medications (statins) are often used preventively in patients who are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In these people, statin therapy has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of having a heart attack or dying of heart disease. However, recent studies have shown that there may be an association between statin therapy and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
In this video, Michael Rocco, MD, Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Stress Testing, Section of Preventive Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic, takes a closer look at the risk-benefit ratio of statin use.
The bottom line
He does not recommend withholding statin therapy in patients at moderate to high risk for cardiovascular disease based solely on the possibility of developing diabetes. The modest risk of developing diabetes does not offset the benefits of statin therapy in reducing cardiovascular events. And, Dr. Rocco points out that patients who developed diabetes in clinical trials were those already at high risk of developing the disease.