Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 1182–1186 | Cite as

Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Pain and Statin Use

  • Catherine Buettner
  • Roger B. Davis
  • Suzanne G. Leveille
  • Murray A. Mittleman
  • Kenneth J. Mukamal
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Muscle effects are the most common reported adverse effects of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A inhibitors (statins). However, in placebo-controlled trials the incidence of muscle pain is most often similar for placebo and active control groups.

Objective

We sought to evaluate whether statin use was associated with a higher prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in a nationally representative sample.

Methods

Cross-sectional analysis using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2002. Participants were 3,580 adults ≥40 years without arthritis who were interviewed at home and examined in a mobile examination center. Participants were asked about sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, medication use, and musculoskeletal pain. Height, weight, blood pressure, ankle brachial index, and cholesterol were measured.

Measurements and Main Results

Prevalence and adjusted odds ratios (OR) of any musculoskeletal pain and musculoskeletal pain in 4 different anatomical regions (neck/upper back, upper extremities, lower back, and lower extremities) by statin use during the last 30 days. Among statin users (n = 402), 22.0% (95%CI 18.0–26.7%) reported musculoskeletal pain in at least 1 anatomical region during the last 30 days, compared with 16.7% (95%CI 15.1–18.4%) of those who did not use a statin. Compared to persons who did not use statins, those who used statins had multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (95%CI; p value) of 1.50 (1.07–2.11; p = .01) for any musculoskeletal pain, 1.59 (1.04–2.44, p = .03) for lower back pain, and1.50 (1.02–2.22, p = .03) for lower extremity pain.

Conclusion

Musculoskeletal pain is common in adults ≥40 years without arthritis. In this nationally representative sample, statin users were significantly more likely to report musculoskeletal pain.

KEY WORDS

statin myopathy hydroxymethylglutaryl-coa reductase inhibitors musculoskeletal pain 

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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Buettner
    • 1
    • 4
  • Roger B. Davis
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Suzanne G. Leveille
    • 1
    • 4
  • Murray A. Mittleman
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  • Kenneth J. Mukamal
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of General Medicine and Primary CareBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research UnitBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiostatisticsHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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