Safety and efficacy of statins in Asians

Am J Cardiol. 2007 Feb 1;99(3):410-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2006.08.051. Epub 2006 Dec 15.


Asian patients frequently have heightened responses to therapeutic drugs. As a consequence, the recommended drug doses are often lower in Asian countries than in Western countries. This practice extends to the use of cardiovascular drugs, including statins for the treatment of dyslipidemia. Pharmacokinetic investigations have noted higher plasma levels of statins in Asians compared with Caucasians, although postmarketing data for all statins have not identified any particular safety issues, even when statins are given at equivalent doses. The potential mechanisms of heightened response to statins in Asians are related to genetically based differences in the metabolism of statins at the level of hepatic enzymes and drug transporters. Studies indicate that lower statin doses achieve lipid improvements in Asian patients comparable with those observed with higher doses in Caucasians. In conclusion, prescribing lower starting doses of statins in Asians appears warranted while research on this subject continues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asians*
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Dyslipidemias / ethnology
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors