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Association Between Statin Use and Bell’s Palsy: A Population-Based Study

An Erratum to this article was published on 12 January 2017



Several reports mention that statin (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor) use seems to be associated with several neurologic disorders and that the lipid-lowering effect of statins may contribute to some neural toxicity.


This study aimed to evaluate the association between statin use and Bell’s palsy using a population-based health insurance database.


This case-control study identified 1,977 subjects with Bell’s palsy as cases and 5,931 sex- and age-matched subjects without Bell’s palsy as controls from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000. Conditional logistic regressions was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95 % confidence interval (CI) for previous use of statins between the cases and controls. The associations of regular and irregular statin users with Bell’s palsy were further analyzed.


By Chi-square test, there was a significant difference in the prevalence of statin use between cases and controls (23.2 vs. 16.4 %, p < 0.001). Conditional logistic regression analysis revealed that after adjusting for diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, the OR for prior statin use was 1.47 (95 % CI 1.28–1.69) for cases compared with controls. Bell’s palsy was significantly associated with previous regular statin use (≥60 days within 6 months) (adjusted OR: 1.46, 95 % CI 1.28–1.67). However, there was no increased adjusted OR of irregular statin use (<60 days within 6 months) for cases compared with controls (OR: 1.09, 95 % CI 0.82–1.46).


Our present data suggest a potential association between regular statin use and Bell’s palsy.

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This study is based, in part, on data from the National Health Insurance Research Database provided by the Bureau of National Health Insurance, Department of Health, Taiwan and managed by the National Health Research Institutes. The interpretations and conclusions contained herein do not represent those of the said agencies.

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Conflict of interest disclosures

Shih-Han Hung, Li-Hsuan Wang, Herng-Ching Lin, and Shiu-Dong Chung have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Correspondence to Shiu-Dong Chung.

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An erratum to this article is available at

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Hung, SH., Wang, LH., Lin, HC. et al. Association Between Statin Use and Bell’s Palsy: A Population-Based Study. Drug Saf 37, 735–742 (2014).

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  • Statin
  • Simvastatin
  • Index Date
  • Statin User
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica