Effect of pravastatin and atorvastatin on glucose metabolism in nondiabetic patients with hypercholesterolemia

Intern Med. 2006;45(2):51-5. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.45.1476. Epub 2006 Feb 15.


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of hydrophilic pravastatin and lipophilic atorvastatin on glucose metabolism and lipid metabolism in non-diabetic patients with hypercholesterolemia.

Methods: Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), hemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), and triglyceride (TG) levels were determined before and after statin treatment.

Patients: A total of 44 nondiabetic patients (FPG < or =125 mg/mL; HbA(1c) <5.8%) undergoing treatment with either pravastatin (n=21) or atorvastatin (n=23) for hypercholesterolemia were investigated.

Results: FPG level in the pravastatin but not atorvastatin group was significantly lowered after vs before treatment. Accordingly, the HbA(1c) level in the atorvastatin but not in the pravastatin group was significantly increased. As expected, both TC and LDL-C levels were significantly lowered in both groups. In particular, the TC level in the atorvastatin group was more remarkably and significantly improved than in the pravastatin group. On the other hand, the HDL-C level in the pravastatin group but not in the atorvastatin group was significantly increased after the administration period. The TG level was unaffected in both groups.

Conclusion: Pravastatin was suggested to act favorably, while atorvastatin adversely, regarding it's effects on glucose metabolism in nondiabetic hypercholesterolemic patients, although atorvastatin exerted more potent cholesterol-lowering effects compared with pravastatin.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology
  • Atorvastatin
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Heptanoic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Male
  • Pravastatin / pharmacology*
  • Pyrroles / pharmacology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Pyrroles
  • Atorvastatin
  • Glucose
  • Pravastatin