Reviewing the ADA monthly magazine this weekend I couldn’t help but notice the numerous mentions of the negative impact on quality of life from peripheral neuropathy, a common complication from diabetes. But I also noticed the lack of mention of the strong evidence that statins are associated with a higher incidence of peripheral neuropathy. Statins are used in those with diabetes to reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in those with diabetes. In one study abstract (first link below) the prevalence of peripheral neuropathy was significantly higher among those who used statins compared to those who did not (23.5% vs. 13.5%; p < 0.01). Other studies have shown an association of a modest correlation between statin use and neuropathy. This correlation is strong enough that one has to consider the statin as the culprit, until proven otherwise, when neuropathy develops any time after the start of statin therapy. With the high prevalence of statin use in those with diabetes, and neuropathy so negatively affecting function and quality of life of those affected, making sure the statin isn’t the cause is a wise choice in order to minimize the needless suffering of many.
Other links related to statins and peripheral neuropathy: