This study was published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 2007 Jan;21(1):17-24
Study title and author:
Lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases related to statin therapy: a systematic review.
Department of Dermatology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland. firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17207162
This paper reviewed the scientific literature concerning statin-induced autoimmune diseases including lupus erythematosus.
The review found:
(a) Statins were associated with various autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, polymyositis and lichen planus pemphigoides.
(b) Autoimmune hepatitis was observed in some patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
(c) The average time of exposure before disease onset was 12 months, with a range from one month to six years.
(d) Aggressive immunosuppressive therapy was required in the majority of cases to aid clinical recovery.
(e) Some patients died despite the immunosuppressive therapy.
Noel concludes: "Long-term exposure to statins may be associated with drug-induced lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune disorders. Fatal cases have been reported despite early drug discontinuation and aggressive systemic immunosuppressive therapy".