Research/studies Worker health and wellness Musculoskeletal disorders

Study ties statin use to MSD diagnoses, injuries

Dallas – People who take statins to lower their cholesterol levels may be more likely to suffer musculoskeletal conditions, joint diseases and injuries, according to a study from the Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System.

Out of 6,967 statin users and 6,967 others who did not take statins during fiscal year 2005, researchers found statin users had a higher odds ratio for all musculoskeletal diseases; dislocations, strains or sprains; and musculoskeletal pain, the study abstract states. Researchers did not find a statistically significant association between statin use and joint disease in their primary analysis, but one was discovered after additional analyses.

In 2011, MSD cases accounted for one-third of all injuries and illnesses, and resulted in 11 median days away from work, statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of all U.S. adults have high cholesterol, which increases the risk of developing heart disease – the leading cause of death in the United States.

The study was published online June 3 in the Journal of the American Medical Association – Internal Medicine.