Effect of niacin on lipids and glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials

Published:September 27, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2014.09.019


      Background & aims

      This study aims to conduct a meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of niacin on serum lipids and glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).


      A comprehensive literature search in Medline, Scopus, AMED, Cochrane and Clinical trial registry databases was performed to identify randomized controlled trials investigating the effect of niacin on serum HDL cholesterol (HDL-c), LDL cholesterol (LDL-c), triglycerides (TG) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG). Pooled effects were measured by weighted mean difference (WMD) using fixed-effects or random-effects models. Quality assessment, and subgroup, meta-regression and sensitivity analyses were conducted using standard methods. Inter-study heterogeneity was assessed and quantified.


      The estimated pooled mean changes (95% confidence interval) with niacin were 0.27 (95% CI: 0.24 to 0.30; P < 0.001) mmol/L for HDL-c, −0.250 (95% CI: −0.47 to −0.03; P < 0.05) mmol/L for LDL-c and −0.39 (95% CI: −0.43 to −0.34; P < 0.001) mmol/L for TG compared with controls. There was a significant heterogeneity for the impact of niacin on LDL-c and FPG. Subgroup analyses revealed a significant increase in FPG 0.085 (95% CI: 0.029 to 0.141; P < 0.05) mmol/L compared with controls in patients with long term treatment. Our analysis also showed the absence of publication bias and any dose-response relations between niacin and effect size.


      Analysis of the results showed that niacin alone or in combination significantly improved lipid abnormalities in patients with TDM, but requires monitoring of glucose in long term treatment.



      CI (confidence interval), FPG (fasting plasma glucose), HDL-c (HDL cholesterol), LDL-c (LDL cholesterol), RCT (randomised control trial), T2DM (type 2 diabetes mellitus), TG (triglycerides), WMD (weighted mean difference)
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