Effect on Fasting Serum Glucose Levels of Adding Ezetimibe to Statins in Patients With Nondiabetic Hypercholesterolemia

Peter P. Toth, Alberico L. Catapano, Michel Farnier, Joanne Foody, Joanne E. Tomassini, Erin Jensen, Adam B. Polis, Mary E. Hanson, Thomas A. Musliner, Andrew M. Tershakovec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Statin therapy is associated with a slightly increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance in patients without diabetes. Ezetimibe combined with statins may be considered for high-risk patients who do not achieve optimal low-density lipoprotein cholesterol lowering on statin monotherapy or who are statin intolerant. Changes in fasting serum glucose (FSG) levels during ezetimibe, ezetimibe/statin, and statin treatments were assessed using data pooled from clinical trials in hypercholesterolemic and heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemic patients, who were or were not receiving statin therapy. Study types included first-line trials in statin-naive/wash-out patients and second-line add-on and uptitration studies in patients on stable statin therapy. Similar analyses of FSG changes were performed separately for each study type in patients who were nondiabetic at baseline. Across all study types and treatments, mean FSG increases from baseline were small (0.5 to 3.7 mg/dl with ezetimibe/statin; 0.2 to 4.6 mg/dl with statins) and decreased over time; between-treatment differences (0.3 to 1.4 mg/dl) were nonsignificant for all comparisons. Proportions of patients with elevated FSG ≥126 mg/dl during therapy were low and similar for all treatments in the overall cohort (1.2% to 4.3%). Elevations were highest (3.3% to 25.7%) among patients with baseline factors characteristic of metabolic syndrome and prediabetes, including higher FSG, body mass index, and triglyceride levels, and numerically lower baseline high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; however, these factors were not related to FSG increases. Changes in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B were not significantly correlated with FSG increases. In conclusion, statin therapy was associated with small FSG increases, and the addition of ezetimibe did not further increase FSG levels beyond those of statins when given to patients who are statin naive or those on statin therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1812-1820
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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