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Meta-Analysis Shows Prevalence of Statin Intolerance Is Low

Prevalence of SI was 9.1 percent overall; significant associations seen for age, female gender, Asian and Black race, obesity, diabetes mellitus

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of statin intolerance (SI) is low, according to a meta-analysis published online Feb. 15 in the European Heart Journal.

Ibadete Bytyçi, from Umeå University in Sweden, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the overall prevalence of SI and factors that might increase the risk for SI. Data were included from 176 studies (112 randomized controlled trials [RCTs] and 64 cohort studies) with 4,143,517 patients.

The researchers found that the prevalence of SI was 9.1 percent overall and was similar when defined using the National Lipid Association, International Lipid Expert Panel, and European Atherosclerosis Society diagnostic criteria (7.0, 6.7, and 5.9 percent, respectively). The prevalence of SI was significantly lower in RCTs versus cohort studies (4.9 versus 17 percent). In studies including both primary and secondary prevention patients, the prevalence of SI was much higher than with a separate analysis of primary or secondary prevention patients (18 percent versus 8.2 and 9.1 percent, respectively). The prevalence of SI was not affected by statin lipid solubility. In the meta-regression model, significant associations with SI were seen for age, female gender, Asian and Black race, obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, chronic liver, and renal failure. An increased risk for SI was also seen in association with antiarrhythmic agents, calcium channel blockers, alcohol use, and increased statin dose.

These results “show that in most cases statin intolerance is over-estimated and over-diagnosed, and they mean that around 93 percent of patients on statin therapy can be treated effectively, with very good tolerability and without any safety issues,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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