Statins and renal disease progression, ophthalmic manifestations, and neurological manifestations in veterans with diabetes: A retrospective cohort study

Ishak A Mansi, Matheu Chansard, Ildiko Lingvay, Song Zhang, Ethan A Halm, Carlos A. Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Statins increase insulin resistance, which may increase risk of diabetic microvascular complications. Little is known about the impact of statins on renal, ophthalmologic, and neurologic complications of diabetes in practice. The objective of this study was to examine the association of statins with renal disease progression, ophthalmic manifestations, and neurological manifestations in diabetes. Methods This is a retrospective cohort study, new-user active comparator design, that included a national Veterans Health Administration (VA) patients with diabetes from 2003 to 2015. Patients were age 30 years or older and were regular users of the VA with data encompassing clinical encounters, demographics, vital signs, laboratory tests, and medications. Patients were divided into statin users or nonusers (active comparators). Statin users initiated statins and nonusers initiated H2-blockers or proton pump-inhibitors (H2-PPI) as an active comparator. Study outcomes were: 1) Composite renal disease progression outcome; 2) Incident diabetes with ophthalmic manifestations; and 3) Incident diabetes with neurological manifestations. Results Out of 705,774 eligible patients, we propensity score matched 81,146 pairs of statin users and active comparators. Over a mean (standard deviation) of follow up duration of 4.8 (3) years, renal disease progression occurred in 9.5% of statin users vs 8.3% of nonusers (odds ratio [OR]: 1.16; 95% confidence interval [95%CI]: 1.12–1.20), incident ophthalmic manifestations in 2.7% of statin users vs 2.0% of nonusers (OR: 1.35, 95%CI:1.27–1.44), and incident neurological manifestations in 6.7% of statin users vs 5.7% of nonusers (OR: 1.19, 95%CI:1.15–1.25). Secondary, sensitivity, and post-hoc analyses were consistent and demonstrated highest risks among the healthier subgroup and those with intensive lowering of LDL-cholesterol. Conclusions Statin use in patients with diabetes was associated with modestly higher risk of renal disease progression, incident ophthalmic, and neurological manifestations. More research is needed to assess the overall harm/benefit balance for statins in the lower risk populations with diabetes and those who receive intensive statin therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0269982
JournalPloS one
Volume17
Issue number7 July
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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