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February 24, 2021

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Davis Kimaiyo, MD, Contributor

Davis Kimaiyo, MD, is an Internal Medicine resident at Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed his medical degree at the University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Kimaiyo’s research interests include cardiovascular medicine, … See Full Bio
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William Beckett MD MPH
February 26, 2021

I recently attended a grand rounds presentation by rheumatologist Dr Shiv Sehra at Mount Auburn Hospital. He presented a case of autoimmune myositis which was triggered by taking a statin, but which did not respond to stopping statins. He reported this as a very uncommon complication of statins which is described in the rheumatology literature. It required chronic treatment.

This seems to be a rare complication that, however, we all should be aware of.

Davis Kimaiyo M.D.
March 1, 2021

Hi Dr. Becket, thank you for sharing that case. As you noted, autoimmune myositis is very rare, 2/million/yr and has been shown to be related to statin use. With the bold assumption that all autoimmune myositis is statin related, Dr. Mammen estimates a yearly risk of 2.5/100,000 statin users. We also agree that physicians should be aware of this rare complication just as the risk of acute interstitial nephritis requiring dialysis with NSAIDS and SJS with furosemide. I think you would agree that how we leverage the risk-benefit profile of statins and non-statin lipid lowering therapies in most patients will be instrumental in our fight against atherosclerosis and related cardiovascular outcomes.

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2474-13-103
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1515161

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