It is already well-known that statins damage muscles. This is the most common of all the statin adverse effects, and somewhat ironically includes damage to the heart muscle.
Now a new study has found another link between statins and muscle damage. This time Idiopathic inflammatory myositis (IIM) - a varied group of autoimmune related muscle disorders that are characterised by chronic inflammation that results in muscle weakness. These conditions can cause gastrointestinal, cardiac and pulmonary dysfunction. According to the British Society for Rheumatology these muscle conditions are a significant problem for morbidity and mortality.
Lead author Gillian E. Caught from Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, South Australia, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology:
"They are severe, debilitating conditions that can result in permanent disability and death, and unfortunately, do not go away when the statin is discontinued because the statin has triggered an autoimmune response. That is why these patients need to be treated aggressively with steroids to help try to get the condition under control."
Dr Caught also said that the general musculoskeletal adverse effects associated with statin use are well known and are estimated to affect between 7% and 29% of all statin users.
The new study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
It is a population-based case-control study using the South Australian Myositis Database and the North West Adelaide Health Study, using data from confirmed cases of IIM diagnosed between 1990 and 2014 in patients 40 years or older.
Patients with Idiopathic inflammatory myositis were 79% more likely to be taking statins than the control group.
As more studies emerge confirming what patients have been saying for decades about statin adverse effects, the real risk / benefit ratio associated with statin use is becoming more clear. Increasing, data is showing that statins cause far more harm than we have been led to believe.
Media Silence and Misinformation
As far as I can see this important finding has not been reported anywhere in the mainstream media. Instead, articles like this one published in the Irish Independent continue to suggest that statins are saving lives.
A Huge Problem
Recently, the CDC found that 50% of men and 38% of women aged 60 years and older in America were taking a medication to lower cholesterol.