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Statins Linked to Musculoskeletal Injuries

More bad news for statin users, but probably not surprising for anyone who understands the biochemistry behind these drugs. Just over a month ago, I covered a study that showed statin drugs negate the benefits of exercise, and now this new study link the use of statins with an increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries, including an increased risk of dislocations, strains, and sprains. The researchers go on to suggest that the full range of musculoskeletal adverse events might not be fully known at this time and that further studies are needed, especially in active individuals.

The study included 6967 statin users matched with 6967 nonusers. Of the statin users, the majority (73.5%) were treated with simvastatin, and approximately a third were prescribed the maximum dose of the drugs (although, in the US, Simvastatin at 80 mg/day is currently restricted due to concerns about muscle damage).

The analysis revealed that treatment with a statin was associated with a 19% increased risk of any type of musculoskeletal injury; a 13% increased risk of dislocations, strains, and sprains; and a 9% increased risk of musculoskeletal pain. There was a trend toward a higher risk (7%) of osteoarthritis/arthropathies, but was not statistically significant.

The researchers say that adverse musculoskeletal events may represent a lesser known side effect of the drug class and should be studied further, especially in individuals who continue to be physically active. These results are particular relevant to a younger age-group since statin therapy is being recommended at at younger and younger ages to prevent cardiovascular diseases--age groups that are likely to be highly physically active.

Source: Statins and Musculoskeletal Conditions, Arthropathies, and Injuries

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