Statin intolerance: why and what to do - with a focus on diabetic people

Curr Med Chem. 2013;20(11):1397-408. doi: 10.2174/0929867311320110004.


The standards of medical care in diabetes recommend that statin therapy is added to lifestyle therapy for diabetic patients with overt cardiovascular disease (LDL cholesterol goal <70 mg/dl), or without cardiovascular disease who are over the age of 40 years and who have one or more other cardiovascular disease risk factors (LDL cholesterol goal <100 mg/dl). In order to reach strict LDL targets, high doses of statins may be required. However, the frequency of statin associated adverse effects and statin intolerance in clinical practice is high (up to 10-15% of statin users) especially at muscle level. The review overviews: 1) the known or hypothesised mechanisms through which causal and contributing factors are associated with adverse effects in diabetic people, and 2) the rationale of strategies for managing statin intolerant patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Diabetes Complications / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Complications / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Dyslipidemias / complications*
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy
  • Dyslipidemias / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Risk Factors
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Acyl Coenzyme A
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A