European Primary Care Cardiovascular Society

Majority of reported cases of muscle symptoms are not attributable to statins

News - Aug. 29, 2022

CTT meta-analysis of the effects of statins on muscle symptoms

Presented at the ESC congress 2022 by: Prof. Colin Baigent, MD- Oxford, UK

Introduction and methods

A lot of misinformation about side-effects of statins have arisen from non-randomized studies. The researchers of this meta-analysis aimed to provide reliable information about the effects of statins on muscle adverse events from double-blind, randomized trials.

Data from trials with at least 1,000 patients and at least two years of scheduled treatment were included in this study. 19 large randomized double-blind trials were included that investigated statin therapy versus placebo (123,940 patients) and four randomized double-blind trials compared more intensive versus less intensive statin therapy (30,724 patients). Data on adverse muscle events were collected for all individual participants.

Main results


Prof. Baigent concluded that muscle symptoms are common. However, 14 out of 15 reported cases of muscle symptoms are not attributable to statins. There is a small excess of muscle symptoms in the first year after starting statin therapy, but no excess in risk thereafter. Prof. Baigent said that the management of muscle pain in patients taking a statin needs to be improved. Furthermore, information on muscle symptoms provided in package inserts and drug information needs to be reviewed and improved.

The findings of this study were simultaneously published in The Lancet

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