Statins may lead to heart failure


Since statins can cause muscle damage, they could theoretically also harm the heart–which is, essentially, a big muscle–although there is no evidence that this is the case. To investigate whether the drugs might affect the heart and other muscles in heart failure patients, Cahalin and his colleagues analyzed data on lung function and exercise tolerance in 136 patients, 61 of whom were taking statins.


Overall, the patients taking statins had worse lung function and exercise tolerance than those who weren’t taking the drugs


According to Cahalin, it could make sense to do a simple lung function test on heart failure patients before prescribing statins. That way, he says, it would be easy to tell if their lung function got worse while they were on the drugs.
And if someone with diastolic heart failure is prescribed the drug and his or her heart failure symptoms–such as weakness, fatigue, and shortness of breath–get worse, he adds, “that should be investigated.”


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