High-Intensity Statins Are Associated With Increased Incidence of Hypoglycemia During Hospitalization of Individuals Not Critically Ill

Israel Khanimov, Gadi Segal, Julio Wainstein, Mona Boaz, Mordechai Shimonov, Eyal Leibovitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Serum cholesterol is inversely associated with incident hypoglycemia among patients admitted to internal medicine wards. We examined the association between statin use and incidence of hypoglycemia among patients who were not critically ill. Methods: In this retrospective study, we included all patients discharged between January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2013 from internal medicine units at the Wolfson Medical Center. Excluded were patients with hepatocellular or cholestatic liver disease upon admission. Patients were allocated to 4 groups, according to diabetes mellitus status (yes or no) and serum albumin < 3.5 g/dL (yes or no) on admission. Regression analysis was used to examine the association of incident hypoglycemia during hospitalization and statin treatment (yes or no), and later, statin intensity. Results: Included in this analysis were 31,094 patients (mean age 68.9 ± 17.5 years, 48.4% males, 21.7% with diabetes mellitus). Logistic regression models showed that among patients with low admission serum albumin, administration of high-intensity statins was associated with increased incidence of hypoglycemic events compared to patients not treated with statins (odds ratio [OR] 1.303, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.016-1.671, P = 0.037), whereas treatment with low-intensity statins was associated with less hypoglycemic events (odds ratio 0.590, 95% confidence interval 0.396-0.879, P = 0.010). Among patients with normal serum albumin, no association was found between incident hypoglycemia and statin intensity. These findings were significant regardless of diabetes mellitus status. Conclusion: Statin treatment in general is associated with reduced incidence of hypoglycemia. However, among patients with low serum albumin upon admission, use of high-intensity statins is associated with an increased risk of hypoglycemic events regardless of diabetes mellitus status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1310
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Statins


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