About 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 40 takes a statin (HMG CoA reductase inhibitor) to reduce cardiovascular risk. A recent scientific statement from the AHA provides a comprehensive review of statin safety and tolerability. It is stated that the risk of serious statin-induced muscle injury, including rhabdomyolysis, is <0.1%, and the risk of serious hepatotoxicity is ≈0.001%. The risk of statin-induced newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus is ≈0.2% per year of treatment, depending on the underlying risk of diabetes mellitus in the population studied. It is also highlighted that for people with cerebrovascular disease, statins possibly increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke; however, they clearly produce a greater reduction in the risk of atherothrombotic stroke and thus total stroke, as well as other cardiovascular events. There is no convincing evidence for a causal relationship between statins and cancer, cataracts, cognitive dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy, erectile dysfunction, or tendonitis: all issues where possible concerns have been canvassed, particularly in lay media. The conclusion is that for patients for whom statin treatment is recommended by current guidelines, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.
Scientific statement from the American Heart Association about statin safety
Feb 10, 2019