Expression Quantitative Trait Locus Analysis Identifies Novel Genes for Statin Myopathy
Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (or statins) are the most common and effective medications used for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Statins exert their beneficial effects primarily by inhibiting hepatic cholesterol synthesis. In general, statins are well-tolerated medications. However, a small but clinically significant number of patients taking statins develop statin myopathy, a range of clinical syndromes characterized by common muscle aches and pains to a rare but sometimes fatal condition of frank muscle necrosis called rhabdomyolysis. Although often described as benign, statin-induced side effects can significantly affect quality of life and are a frequent cause of premature drug discontinuation. As a consequence, millions do not receive the cardiovascular benefits of these life-saving drugs.
The reasons that some patients do (or do not) develop statin-induced side effects have been difficult to identify. Certain patient characteristics such as age, sex, and concomitant medications have been implicated in some. Genome-wide association studies have implicated specific genetic variants …