Statin use associated with musculoskeletal conditions, injuries

Using statins to lower cholesterol may be associated with the development of musculoskeletal conditions, joint diseases and injuries, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers from the VA North Texas Health Care System, Dallas, used data from a military health care system from 2005 to analyze whether statins were associated with musculoskeletal conditions. The study included 6,967 statin users and 6,967 controls.

The researchers used propensity score matching to compare the two groups and found that statin users had a higher odds ratio for developing musculoskeletal diseases, dislocation, strain or sprains and musculoskeletal pain compared with the nonusers. There was no significant difference in risk for osteoarthritis and arthropathy between groups.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study using propensity score matching to show that statin use is associated with an increased likelihood of diagnoses of musculoskeletal conditions, arthropathies and injuries. In our primary analysis, we did not find a statistically significant association between statin use and arthropathy; however, this association was statistically significant in all other analyses,” the authors stated in a news release. “These findings are concerning because starting statin therapy at a young age for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases has been widely advocated.”

For more information:

Mansi I. JAMA Intern Med. 2013. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6184.

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