Statins’ Benefits Beyond CV Unclear

New research is casting doubt on the benefits of statin medications beyond reducing the risk of cardiovascular events.

Statins, such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin), are commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs that can help to reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Some studies had indicated that statins could benefit other diseases, such as cancer, dementia and kidney disease.

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 256 studies that examined using statins for 278 non-cardiovascular conditions. While there were signs that statins may help some of those conditions, for nearly all of them, the evidence was inconclusive, they reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The team did determine that the drugs can help prevent kidney disease deaths, though they noted this could be a result of lowering cardiovascular event risk.

The researchers reported limited evidence that statins can reduce death from cancer and exacerbation from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The data was inconclusive on statins benefitting dementia.

Results indicated that statin use was associated with a modest increased risk of diabetes, though the researchers said this finding was not enough to discourage use of the drugs.

Somewhat surprisingly, the analysis didn’t find a link between statins and muscle pain – a commonly reported side effect. However, the researchers conceded that some of the studies did not appropriately report side effects.


Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block is an associate editor at BioCentury, which provides news and information about the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to joining BioCentury in 2019, Jonathan worked for MedShadow as content editor. He has been an editor and writer for multiple pharmaceutical, health and medical publications, including The Pink Sheet, Modern Healthcare, Health Plan Week and Psychiatry Advisor. He holds a BA from Tufts University and is earning an MPH with a focus on health policy from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.


Did you find this article helpful?

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Latest News

Belviq, ActiPatch, Free Samples, Dollar Tree Drugs

Belviq, ActiPatch, Free Samples, Dollar Tree Drugs

We knew it was too good to be true – free and cheap drugs aren’t worth it. Also, taking a magic pill to lose weight could give you cancer (!). One ray of sunshine: a pain therapy device using shortwave is now available over-the-counter. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day! Be…

Flouride, PPIs, Breast Density and Prostate Cancer

Flouride, PPIs, Breast Density and Prostate Cancer

Startling news about fluoride, a study encourages more limites use of PPIs, does knowing the density of your breasts matter, and vegetables aren’t helpful in warding off prostate cancer (darn).  Be Well.  Fluoride and Pregnancy The medical community was shocked at the conclusions of two new studies on fluoride’s effect…

  • Advertisement