Statins Exhibit Adverse Effect on Energy, Exertional Fatigue

Randomized trial shows unfavorable effect of statins on energy and fatigue, particularly for women

THURSDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- For relatively healthy individuals, particularly women, statin use may be associated with reduced energy and exertional fatigue, according to a research letter published online June 11 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Beatrice A. Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of California San Diego, and colleagues randomly allocated 1,016 subjects (692 men and 324 nonprocreative women), with screening low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels of 115 to 190 mg/dL and no cardiovascular disease or diabetes, to receive either 20-mg simvastatin (lipophilic statin), 40-mg pravastatin (hydrophilic statin), or placebo, for six months. "EnergyFatigEx" values were generated by summing single-item self-ratings of change from baseline in "energy" and "fatigue with exertion" outcome measures.

The researchers found that, compared with placebo, the difference in mean on-treatment change in EnergyFatigEx was significant for combined statins, with a disproportionate effect noted for women. After adjustment for baseline EnergyFatigEx, the effects of statins on EnergyFatigEx were significantly unfavorable for statins, either in combination or separately.

"To our knowledge, this is the first randomized evidence affirming unfavorable statin effects on energy and exertional fatigue," the authors write. "Effects were seen in a generally healthy sample given modest statin doses, and both simvastatin and pravastatin contributed to the significant adverse effect of statins on energy and fatigue with exertion."

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