May 19, 2024

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Statins Linked to Anemia: First Global Real-World Data Study Reveals 5-Fold Increased Risk

Statins Linked to Anemia: First Global Real-World Data Study Reveals 5-Fold Increased Risk



Statins Linked to Anemia: First Global Real-World Data Study Reveals 5-Fold Increased Risk

The modernization process has brought about various “modern diseases” to humanity, such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia. These diseases may not be immediately life-threatening, but they often require long-term medication for management.

Statins are widely used to treat abnormal lipid levels. In the context of this study conducted in South Korea, statins make up 90% of the drugs used to treat lipid abnormalities. The standardized prevalence of high cholesterol in South Koreans aged 20 and above had already doubled from 9.2% in 2008 to 18% in 2018. This indicates an increasing number of people turning to statins for treatment.

However, besides their positive effects on inflammation, oxidation, and atherosclerosis, statins have also been associated with adverse events like liver toxicity and muscle symptoms. Many observational studies have even found a certain link between statin use and type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

Scientists from Seoul National University analyzed potential adverse reactions to statins using data from the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) of South Korea, which included nearly 50,000 individuals.

The results of their analysis show a significant increase in the risk of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) with statin use, with a risk as high as 5.04 times.

Statins Linked to Anemia: First Global Real-World Data Study Reveals 5-Fold Increased Risk

After screening data from over 140,000 people, the study included 7,847 statin users and 39,235 non-users.

The analysis focused on 14 international disease classification (ICD-10) defined conditions, including type 2 diabetes (T2DM), iron-deficiency anemia (IDA), and gastric ulcers (GU), meeting the analysis criteria.

The researchers categorized participants’ statin use into three groups: current use (prescribed within the past 3 months), recent use (prescribed within the past 12 months), and past use (prescribed more than 12 months ago).

Statins Linked to Anemia: First Global Real-World Data Study Reveals 5-Fold Increased Risk

Interestingly, the researchers found that the risk of T2DM in statin users showed a strong time dependency.

In comparison to non-users, the adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) for the current use/recent use/past use groups were 7.30, 6.08, and 5.09, respectively.

For IDA, the aHR values were 4.84, 5.01, and 5.04, and for GU, the aHR values were 2.39, 1.78, and 2.88, respectively.

Statins Linked to Anemia: First Global Real-World Data Study Reveals 5-Fold Increased Risk

The researchers believe that statins can affect iron metabolism, which might be one of their mechanisms of anti-inflammation.

Some research results suggest that statins can inhibit hepcidin expression, a key hormonal regulator of iron distribution.

Using statins might potentially reduce cardiovascular disease risk by lowering iron levels.

This is the first time a real-world data study has observed an association between statin use and iron-deficiency anemia.

Perhaps, individuals who use statins for an extended period should pay extra attention to their iron levels.

Statins Linked to Anemia: First Global Real-World Data Study Reveals 5-Fold Increased Risk


Reference:
[1] https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/sciadv.adg6194

(source:internet, reference only)

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