Background: Although statins deteriorate glucose metabolism, their glucose-lowering effects have emerged in some situations. Here, we assessed whether these effects are a consequence of statins' interaction with paraoxonase (PON)1 enzyme polymorphism. Methods: Adult Japanese type 2 diabetes patients (n=3798) were enrolled in a cross-sectional study. We used Q192R polymorphism of the PON1 gene as a representative single-nucleotide polymorphism and focused on the effects of the wild-type Q allele, in an additive manner. For patients with and without statin therapy, the associations of this allele with fasting plasma glucose (FPG), HbA1c, C-peptide, HOMA2-%β, and HOMA2-IR were investigated separately using a linear regression model, and were compared between groups by testing interactions. Sensitivity analyses were performed using propensity score to further control the imbalance of characteristics between groups. Results: Among patients with statin therapy, there were linear associations of the number of Q alleles with decreased FPG and HbA1c, and with increased serum C peptide and HOMA2-%β (all P<0.01 for trends), while such associations were not observed among those without statin therapy. These differences were statistically significant only for serum C peptide and HOMA2-%β (P<0.01 for interactions). These associations remained significant after multiple explanatory variable adjustment. Sensitivity analyses using propensity score showed broad consistency of these associations. Conclusions: Patients with the Q allele of the PON1 Q192R polymorphism who were treated with statins exhibited improvement in glucose metabolism, especially in insulin secretion, suggesting the importance of genotyping PON1 Q192R to identify those who could benefit from statin therapy.
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