Professor Liam Smeeth, Chief Investigator for StatinWISE, said:
"We know statins reduce heart disease and strokes. More than two million people in the UK are eligible to be prescribed these life-saving drugs by their doctor. It is therefore vital that we have accurate data on the symptoms people are experiencing while taking statins, so that patients and doctors can make informed treatment choices. Many patients stop taking statins due to less severe symptoms, such as muscle pain or fatigue, exposing them to increased cardiovascular disease risk. However, trials have not been able to show if these symptoms are more common in patients taking statins or placebo, until now.
"Our work should reassure those already taking statins or thinking about taking statins. These drugs prevent heart attacks and save lives. In very rare cases they can cause muscle pain, but the vast majority of people will not be affected. The benefits far outweigh the risks."