Treatment of dyslipidemia in idiopathic inflammatory myositis: results of the International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group survey

Clin Rheumatol. 2012 Aug;31(8):1163-8. doi: 10.1007/s10067-012-1986-4. Epub 2012 Apr 21.


Recent data suggest that atherosclerotic disease is increased in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myositis (IIM) and that dyslipidemia is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular events. Lipid-lowering agents may be associated with myopathic side effects. The current work evaluates the use of lipid-lowering therapy in patients with IIM treated by IIM specialists belonging to the International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies (IMACS) Group. The IMACS Group is a multidisciplinary coalition of experts with significant interest and experience in IIM. IMACS members were asked to complete an 18-item online survey detailing their clinical practice on monitoring and treating hypercholesterolemia in IIM patients. Specific questions regarding the types of lipid-lowering therapies used in IIM patients and any side effects associated with treatment were asked. Sixty-three IMACS members representing 23 countries and a minimum of 1,641 IIM patients participated in the online survey. Seventy-six percent of these specialists treating adult IIM patients use lipid-lowering therapies in their patients. HMG co-enzymeA reductase inhibitors (statins) were the most commonly used agents (93 %). Thirty-six cases of worsening myositis associated with statin use were reported in over 300 patients using lipid-lowering therapies. Seven of eight responders who reported worsening in myositis with lipid-lowering therapies reported cases in which the myositis improved after holding therapy. This survey suggests that statins are commonly used by physicians specializing in the treatment of patients with IIM and that some myositis patients worsen with statin use and may improve on dechallenge. More research regarding the safety of lipid-lowering agents in patients with IIM is warranted.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Dyslipidemias / etiology
  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Myositis / complications*
  • Physicians
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Hypolipidemic Agents