Cardiovascular disease is the world’s largest killer, responsible for around 18 million deaths each year. High levels of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol are a major risk factor. Statins lower LDL-cholesterol levels and have been repeatedly proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, there have been widespread concerns, regularly discussed in the media and by patients and clinicians, that statins could be linked to muscle pain or weakness, and statins can, rarely, cause severe muscle problems.
A new meta-analysis by researchers at Oxford Population Health looks at data from almost 155,000 patients from 23 large-scale randomised double-blind trials. They used this information to assess the effect of statin treatments on the frequency of muscle-related symptoms.
Two of the authors presented the findings of this new meta-analysis, which provides the most robust evidence on muscle-related symptoms to date. The results were published in The Lancet and presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress on Monday 29 August at 14:00 CEST (13:00 BST).
Professor Colin Baigent, Director of the Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit at the University of Oxford, and joint lead author of the study
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation which co-funded the study