March 31, 2017
1 min read

Lower diabetes risk associated with verapamil vs. other calcium channel blockers

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

In adults with no history of diabetes, those prescribed oral verapamil had a 20% lower risk for type 2 diabetes development compared with those prescribed other calcium channel blockers, according to findings of a retrospective study from researchers in Taiwan.

Yea-Yuan Chang, MD, of the division of infectious diseases, department of medicine at National Yang-Ming University Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues evaluated data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database from 2000 to 2011 on 4,930 adults (mean age, 48.5 years) prescribed oral verapamil and 4,930 matched adults prescribed oral calcium channel blockers to compare the incidence of type 2 diabetes between the two groups. Follow-up was conducted until a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, loss to follow-up, death or Dec. 31, 2013.

During a follow-up of 41,958 person-years, 269 participants in the verapamil group developed type 2 diabetes compared with 340 participants assigned other calcium channel blockers during a follow-up of 42,118 person-years. Incidence rates per year were higher among participants assigned other calcium channel blockers (8.07 per 1,000 population per year) compared with participants assigned verapamil (6.41 per 1,000). Compared with other calcium channel blockers, the HR for type 2 diabetes was 0.8 (95% CI, 0.68-0.93) and the adjusted HR was 0.8 (95% CI, 0.68-0.94) for use with verapamil.

“This study showed the significant association of verapamil and reduced incidence of newly diagnosed [type 2 diabetes] compared to other [calcium channel blockers],” the researchers wrote. “This association is consistent in different groups and more prominent in elderly patients. Further studies of the specific effects of verapamil may improve our understanding of diabetes pathogenicity and inform the development of preventive strategies.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosure: The study was funded by grants from NIH.