In this study, physicians from Indiana, USA, assessed whether patients with elevated baseline liver enzymes have a higher risk of statin hepatotoxicity.
The team examined 3 cohorts of patients between 1998 and 2002:
- 342 hyperlipidemic patients with elevated baseline enzymes (AST >40 IU/L or ALT >35 IU/L) who were prescribed a statin.
- 1437 hyperlipidemic patients with normal transaminases who were prescribed a statin.
- 2245 patients with elevated liver enzymes but who were not prescribed a statin.
The team assessed the effect of statins on liver biochemistries over a 6-month period.
They classified liver biochemistry elevations during follow-up to be mild-moderate or severe based on predefined criteria.
The physicians found that the incidence of mild-moderate elevations in cohort 1 were 5%. Severe elevations in liver biochemistries were 1%.
|The team assessed the effect of statins over a 6-month period.|
Patients in cohort 2 had a lower incidence of mild-moderate elevations (2%) but not severe elevations.
Between cohorts 1 and 3, there were no differences in the incidence of mild-moderate or severe elevations.
The team also found that rates of statin discontinuation during the follow-up were similar between cohorts 1 and 2.
Dr Naga Chalasani and colleagues concluded, "These data suggest that individuals with elevated baseline liver enzymes do not have higher risk for hepatotoxicity from statins".