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Analysis of vitamin D levels in patients with and without statin-associated myalgia - a systematic review and meta-analysis of 7 studies with 2420 patients

Tags: medications, harms, self-treatment, treatment, pain problems

Two articles on PainSci cite Michalska-Kasiczak 2015: 1. The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain2. 34 Surprising Causes of Pain

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

INTRODUCTION: Vitamin D (vit D) deficiency may be associated with an increased risk of statin-related symptomatic myalgia in statin-treated patients. The aim of this meta-analysis was to substantiate the role of serum vitamin D levels in statin-associated myalgia.

METHODS: The search included PUBMED, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and EMBASE from January 1, 1987 to April 1, 2014 to identify studies that investigated the impact of vit D levels in statin-treated subjects with and without myalgia. Two independent reviewers extracted data on study characteristics, methods and outcomes. Quantitative data synthesis was performed using a fixed-effect model.

RESULTS: The electronic search yielded 437 articles; of those 20 were scrutinized as full texts and 13 studies were considered unsuitable. The final analysis included 7 studies with 2420 statin-treated patients divided into subgroups of patients with (n=666 [27.5%]) or without (n=1754) myalgia. Plasma vit D concentrations in the symptomatic and asymptomatic subgroups were 28.4±13.80ng/mL and 34.86±11.63ng/mL, respectively. The combination of data from individual observational studies showed that vit D plasma concentrations were significantly lower in patients with statin-associated myalgia compared with patients not manifesting this side effect (weighted mean difference -9.41ng/mL; 95% confidence interval: -10.17 to -8.64; p<0.00001).

CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis provides evidence that low vit D levels are associated with myalgia in patients on statin therapy. Randomized controlled trials are necessary to establish whether vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk for statin-associated myalgia.

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