Diabetes & Endocrinology

Epicardial adipose tissue predicts onset of diabetes in statin users

In patients with high cardiovascular risk, statins have been widely used to lower lipid levels. Although statins are effective in reducing the rate of cardiovascular events and mortality, there are consistent concerns regarding the association between statin use and new-onset of diabetes mellitus (NODM).

Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) refers to the visceral fat surrounding the heart, which is associated with metabolic diseases. A new study has investigated the relationship between EAT thickness and occurrence of glucose intolerance in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) treated with high-intensity statin therapy.

Young-Seok Cho and colleagues, who published their study in the Cardiovascular Diabetology journal, investigated the association between EAT thickness and NODM in CAD patients treated with high-intensity statins. Investigators enrolled a total of 321 patients, who received high-intensity statins for a mean of 952 days. During the follow-up period of 3.9 ± 1.7 years, NODM occurred in 40 patients. On Cox proportional-hazard regression analysis, EAT thickness at systole and prediabetes at baseline were the only independent predictors of NODM. In addition, patients with EAT thickness ≥ 5 mm and prediabetes at baseline had a 12.0-times higher risk of developing NODM compared to the risk noted in patients with EAT thickness < 5 mm and normal glucose tolerance at baseline.

The findings from this study indicate that EAT at systole is a consistent independent predictor of NODM in patients with CAD treated with high-intensity statins.

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