Real-World Analyses of the Safety Outcome among a General Population Treated with Statins: An Asian Population-Based Study

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2022 Aug 1;29(8):1213-1225. doi: 10.5551/jat.63076. Epub 2021 Sep 9.


Aim: The safety concern of statins is still a major issue for Asians. The aim of this study is to compare the risk of statin-associated adverse events among potent statins.

Methods: We included patients from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database who had been treated with atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, or pitavastatin and were without diabetes at baseline. They were classified into three groups: usual-dose statin (atorvastatin 10 mg/d or rosuvastatin 5-10 mg/d), high-dose statin (atorvastatin 20-40 mg/d and rosuvastatin 20 mg/d), and pitavastatin (2-4 mg/d). The primary endpoint is a composite of safety events, including hepatitis, myopathy, and new-onset diabetes mellitus (NODM). We matched age, sex, and year of recruitment among the three groups (n=50,935 in each group) and then used the multivariate Cox proportional hazards model to evaluate the relation between the safety endpoint and different statin groups.

Results: After a mean follow-up of 3.08±0.83 years, the safety events occurred in 9.84% in the pitavastatin group, 10.88% in the usual-dose statin group, and 10.49% in high-dose statin group. The multivariate Cox proportional hazards model indicated that usual-dose statin and high-dose statin were associated with a higher risk of the composite safety events compared with pitavastatin (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]: 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08-1.17 for usual-dose statin and aHR: 1.06, 95% CI: 1.02-1.10 for high-dose statin). The risks of hepatitis requiring hospitalization and NODM were especially lower in pitavastatin group.

Conclusions: Compared with atorvastatin and rosuvastatin, pitavastatin might be associated with a lower risk of safety events in Asians.

Keywords: Adverse events; Asians; Statin.

MeSH terms

  • Asian People
  • Atorvastatin
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors* / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium
  • Atorvastatin