Pharmacoepidemiology of statins

Therapie. 2019 Apr;74(2):261-269. doi: 10.1016/j.therap.2019.01.004. Epub 2019 Jan 18.


The evaluation of the real-life benefits and risks of statins in population is a major pharmacoepidemiological issue, given their widespread use for cardiovascular prevention. The purpose of this review was not to be exhaustive but to show the contributions of pharmacoepidemiology for various aspects of the evaluation of statins such as real-life drug use, effectiveness and risk. Statins are among the most used drugs in the world, but recent data show a slight decrease in use. Actual statin users are older, and have more comorbidities than those studied in clinical trials, but this does not seem to compromise their effectiveness, unlike the compliance issues that are common with these drugs. Beyond the known adverse reactions of statins from the clinical trials, risks of statins can be varied and sometimes difficult to evaluate, considering the ubiquity of cholesterol throughout the body, from drug or endogenous molecule metabolism to the construction of cell membranes or cell activities.

Keywords: Cardiovascular prevention; Cholesterol; Pharmacoepidemiology; Real-world evidence; Statin.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Pharmacoepidemiology*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Cholesterol