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New EAS Consensus Panel Statement addresses persistent questions on long-term statin safety

Friday 27 April 2018   (0 Comments)
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Statins (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase [HMG-CoA] inhibitors) are recommended by guidelines as first-line treatments for decreasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) to prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). These recommendations are based on indisputable evidence that LDL-C is a key driver of ASCVD and thus a principal target for therapeutic intervention, as discussed in a previous European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) Consensus Panel statement. Additionally, evidence from trials shows that statins are generally safe and well tolerated. However, possible unintended effects of statins may not become evident until there has been longer exposure in a more heterogeneous population than that included in clinical trials. The recognized small risk of diabetes associated with statin therapy is an example of this.

Uncertainties also remain about a number of other possible unintended adverse effects of statins during long-term exposure. In a new position statement, therefore, the EAS Consensus Panel has turned their attention to questions about the effects of statins on glucose homeostasis, cognitive, renal and hepatic function, as well as the possible risk for haemorrhagic stroke or cataract. This was a consensus-driven statement based on comprehensive literature review and analysis covering 2000 to 2017. We summarize the key findings from this statement, which is freely available on Open Access.

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