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Approved Research

Evaluating adverse effects of statin use with large-scale cohort data

Principal Investigator: Mrs Juhee Ahn
Approved Research ID: 93211
Approval date: May 9th 2023

Lay summary

Statins have been frequently prescribed for controlling low-density lipoprotein and preventing cardiovascular disease. Several statin-related adverse effects have been reported through randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and their meta-analyses. However, there is a limitation in discovering potential adverse effects in RCTs since it has problems of ethics, time-economic, and short-follow-up period.

Previous studies have reported that statins may affect cognitive function deterioration and immune disease using Mendelian Randomization. There was also a study that analyzed 22 diseases, and this study has shown that the incidence of type 2 diabetes was only associated with statin use. However, only diseases were used that were reported from RCTs and the meta-analysis of them as an outcome variable. It was difficult to identify potential adverse effects that were not seen in the previous studies. Therefore, we need to comprehensively evaluate the potential statin-related risks without hypotheses. The primary goal of our research is to validate the associations between statin use and the potential adverse effects using Mendelian Randomization.

Pharmacovigilance for potential adverse effects is important in the real world with dominant noncommunicable diseases. We expect that we can figure out the association between statin use and a wide range of diseases in the large-scale cohort, which is UK Biobank. This could improve patients' and healthcare providers' understanding of statin therapy when decision-making.