Study title and authors:
This paper can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12241128
The aim of this study was to investigate whether patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol) who did not exhibit any apparent side-effects during six months of treatment with statins drugs did in fact exhibit oxidation injury (cellular and tissue damage) as measured by isoprostane levels. (Elevated isoprostane levels are a marker for oxidation injury). The study included 111 patients (63 males, 48 females; aged 19 to 58 years) who did not experience any adverse effects during statin treatment.
The study found that out of the 111 treated patients (who did not experience any apparent adverse effects during statin treatment) 11 showed a pronounced increase in isoprostane levels.
The lead investigator of the study, Dr Helmut Sinzinger from the Wilhelm Auerswald Atherosclerosis Research Group Vienna, concluded: "These findings indicate that in the absence of other clinically observable adverse effects, in some of the patients, for an as yet unknown reason, statin therapy may be associated with increased oxidation injury. These data add a further piece of evidence that mild adverse effects of statins that are difficult to assess might be much more prevalent than widely considered".
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