Low Vitamin D Leads to More Muscle Injuries in Those Taking Statins
Statins are just plain bad news. Being deficienct in vitamin D makes matters worse.
Study Title:Among patients with vitamin D <20>30 ng/mL (P < .01).
From press release:
- Vitamin D deficiency appears to be prevalent among patients with hyperlipidaemia, but it occurs more frequently in patients with statin-associated myalgias, according to findings presented here at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions.
- Myalgia occurs frequently among patients taking statins, but it is sometimes uncertain whether it is drug-related. Vitamin D deficiency is common in the general population and is sometimes associated with reversible myalgia, according to Barton Duell, MD, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.
- Dr. Duell and colleagues conducted a study to determine whether vitamin D deficiency may contribute to symptoms of myalgia in 99 patients referred for tertiary care with a diagnosis of hyperlipidaemia.
- Patients were aged 58.7 years on average (range 20-84) and 43% were men. The mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was 26.7 ng/mL (range 5-64).
- Statin-associated myalgias were reported by 38.8% of patients. These patients had a 32% lower mean vitamin D level (20.5 vs 30.1 ng/mL, P = .0003) and were more likely to be female (68% vs 49%, P = .095).
- Vitamin D levels were similar in men and women (24.3 vs 28.8 ng/mL, P = .09). Deficiency was prevalent in the group (62.6% <30 ng/mL; 31.9% <20 ng/mL).
Patients with myalgias were more likely to have vitamin D levels <30 ng/mL (81.3% vs 52.5%, P < .01) and <20 ng/mL (62.5% vs 18.6%, P < .01).
- Among patients with vitamin D <20>30 ng/mL (P < .01).
- About one-third of patients with myalgia reported fewer statin-associated myalgias after 8 to 12 weeks of unblinded treatment with high-dose ergocalciferol, but most subjects also changed to a different statin, according to the researchers.
- They concluded that while vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with hyperlipidaemia, statin-associated myalgias were more commonly related to vitamin D deficiency, with a mean vitamin D level 32% lower than the mean for the entire group.
- They noted that vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL were associated with 4-fold higher rates of myalgias than levels higher than 30 ng/mL, and reduced myalgias were anecdotally related to treatment with vitamin D in some of these patients.
- According to Dr. Buell, vitamin D deficiency either leads to statin-induced myalgias or may cause drug-unrelated myalgias in a subset of patients taking statins. This matter requires additional studies, he said.
Barton Duell et al. Among patients with vitamin D <20>30 ng/mL (P < .01). American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions. New Orleans. 2008. 2008 November Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.