A very large analysis of previously published studies finds that statins are generally safe and well tolerated, but helps confirm previous links to a small increased risk for diabetes and elevation of liver enzymes. Some statins were better tolerated than other statins and lower-dose statins were better tolerated than high dose statins.
In a paper published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, Huseyin Naci and colleagues report their findings from a systematic review of clinical trials with statins for both primary and secondary prevention. The data from 55 placebo controlled trials and 80 trials included nearly 250,000 subjects comparing statins to placebo or to other statins. Previous analyses of available data have generally confirmed the overall benign profile of statins, but have not explored in depth the differences between statins and the effect of different doses of individual statins.
The new study found no differences between statins and placebos in the rate of discontinuations due to myalgia, CK elevation and cancer, but statins were associated with a higher risk for diabetes (OR 1.09, CI 1.02-1.16) and transaminase elevations (OR 1.51, CI 1.24-1.84).