Lipid-lowering drugs and risk of new-onset diabetes: a cohort study using Japanese healthcare data linked to clinical data for health screening

Nobuhiro Ooba, Soko Setoguchi, Tsugumichi Sato, Kiyoshi Kubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: New-onset diabetes.

PARTICIPANTS: All persons aged 20 to 74 years with dyslipidaemia between 1 January 2005 and 31 March 2011. We defined the index date as the first date when the person met the criteria for dyslipidaemia. Persons were excluded if they had lipid-lowering drugs, or had a diagnosis, a treatment or a laboratory test result (haemoglobin A1c ≥6.5% or fasting blood glucose ≥126 mg/dL) indicating diabetes during the 6-month period before the index date.

RESULTS: We identified 68 620 persons with dyslipidaemia. During the mean follow-up period of 1.96 years, 3674 persons started treatment with a lipid-lowering drug: 979 with a low potency statin, 2208 with a high potency statin and 487 with a fibrate. Of 3674 new users of a lipid-lowering drug, 3621 had a period of non-use of any lipid-lowering drugs before starting a lipid-lowering drug. Among statin users, the incidence rate of new-onset diabetes was 124.6 per 1000 person-years compared with 22.6 per 1000 person-years in non-users. After adjusting for confounding factors including clinical data in health screening using Cox proportional hazards models, the HR was 1.91 (95% CI 1.38 to 2.64) for low potency statins and 2.61 (2.11 to 3.23) for high potency statins.

CONCLUSION: The use of statins was associated with a 1.9-fold to 2.6-fold increase in the risk of new-onset diabetes in a Japanese population of working age, despite adjusting for clinical risk factors for diabetes.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether lipid-lowering drugs are associated with new-onset diabetes after adjusting for baseline clinical risk factors for diabetes.

DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study.

SETTING: Japanese employees of large corporations and their dependents using health insurance claims data linked to clinical and laboratory data for annual health screenings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e015935
JournalBMJ open
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 30 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


  • Adverse Events
  • Cardiac Epidemiology
  • Epidemiology

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