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Discontinuation of Statin Treatment in Relation to Chronic Diseases and Laboratory Findings

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DOI: 10.4236/pp.2013.43046    2,976 Downloads   4,432 Views  


Purpose: The aim was to study discontinuation of statin treatment, especially with respect to clinical characteristics and adverse effect measured by clinical laboratory tests indicating muscle damage (plasma creatine kinase, CK) and liver AEs (plasma alanine aminotransferase, ALAT). Methods: The initial study population included 60,488 individuals who had purchased first time statin prescription in Helsinki-Uusimaa region between 01-01-2007 and 31-12-2009. The follow-up started when first statin prescription was purchased and ended 31-12-2009 or death, which ever occurred first. From this population 54,172 individuals were defined to eligible to study population of this study. Clinical laboratory measurements were obtained from Helsinki-Uusimaa University Hospital (HUSLAB) that which provides the laboratory tests for the Helsinki-Uusimaa region serving about a population of 1.5 million. Results: In this fairly large real-life study the occurrence of ALAT-AE and mild CK-elevations after initiation of first statin treatments were relatively low. Increasing age and the presence of co-morbidities increased the risk of these AEs. Further, the ALAT-AEs implied increased risk of discontinuation of treatment. Diabetic patients discontinued treatment more often than non-diabetics, whereas the presence of other chronic conditions implied higher persistence of statin treatment. Conclusions: It is essential that those who would benefit from statin therapy actually are treated and by far in most patients treatment seems to be safe and well tolerated. For those who cannot tolerate statins new therapeutic options are needed.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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L. Niskanen, J. Suvisaari, J. Suvisaari, A. But and J. Haukka, "Discontinuation of Statin Treatment in Relation to Chronic Diseases and Laboratory Findings," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2013, pp. 318-324. doi: 10.4236/pp.2013.43046.


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