Previous studies have suggested that Niacin treatment raises glucose levels in patients with diabetes mellitus and may increase the risk of developing diabetes.
Researchers performed a meta-analysis of published and unpublished data from randomised trials to confirm whether an association exists between Niacin and new-onset diabetes.
Randomised controlled trials of Niacin primarily designed to assess its effects on cardiovascular endpoints and cardiovascular surrogate markers were searched.
Trials with greater than or equal to 50 non-diabetic participants and average follow-up of 24 weeks or more were included.
In 11 trials with 26 340 non-diabetic participants, 1371 ( 725/13 121 assigned Niacin; 646/13 219 assigned control ) were diagnosed with diabetes during a weighted mean follow-up of 3.6 years.
Niacin therapy was associated with a RR ( risk ratios ) of 1.34 (95% CIs 1.21 to 1.49) for new-onset diabetes, with limited heterogeneity between trials ( I2=0.0%, p=0.87 ).
This equates to one additional case of diabetes per 43 ( 95% CI 30 to 70 ) initially non-diabetic individuals who are treated with Niacin for 5 years.
Results were consistent regardless of whether participants received background statin therapy ( p for interaction=0.88 ) or combined therapy with Laropiprant ( p for interaction=0.52 ).
In conclusion, Niacin therapy is associated with a moderately increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus regardless of background statin or combination Laropiprant therapy. ( Xagena )
Goldie C et al, Heart 2016;102:198-203