Help others to be mothers - please sign and share the Progress Educational Trust's petition, calling on the UK Government to #ExtendTheLimit on social egg freezing
Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_90760

Gene test could prevent statin-related side effect

28 July 2008
Appeared in BioNews 468

A rare but serious side effect experienced by people taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs statins may be avoided in up to 60 per cent of cases, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week. The University of Oxford-based research team identified a gene variant linked to 'myopathy' - a rare side-effect causing severe muscle pain and weakness - raising the prospect of a test being developed to identify those at increased risk.

Where necessary, the test could allow those who are not at increased risk from myopathy to benefit from a higher dose of statins, says Professor Rory Collins, who led the study. 'A DNA test based on these findings could guide doctors as to whether a patient at high risk of heart disease will cope with a high dose of a statin, which might be more effective than a standard dose at preventing a heart attack or stroke. If the patient doesn't have the gene variation, they're likely to be at low risk of myopathy even on high statin dose'.

Among those on higher dose of statins, because they are at high risk of heart disease or stroke, the researchers found that those carrying a single copy of the gene variant - known as SLC01B1 - were four times more likely to develop myopathy, and those with two copies sixteen times more likely, than those without the variant.

Given that the incidence of myopathy among patients prescribed standard doses of statins is fairly rare, just one in 10,000, it is anticipated that the test could be used specifically to target those who should not be prescribed higher doses of statins because they are among the one in four people in the general population who are at high risk from myopathy. 'This approach will help us to optimise treatments to prevent heart attacks and strokes in individuals at high risk', Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, which funded the study, told the BBC.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Discovery may boost statin safety
BBC News Online |  23 July 2008
Genetic Cause of Statin-Related Muscle Pain Found
The Washington Post |  23 July 2008
Rare side effect of statins studied
The Press Association |  23 July 2008
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
2 September 2013 - by Dr Victoria Burchell 
A variant of a gene involved in energy storage in muscles may be linked to problems experienced by some users of the cholesterol-lowering drugs statins...
28 September 2009 - by Dr Aarathi Prasad 
A new NHS-funded study will test patients for genes that may play a key role in side-effects related to statin use....
18 June 2004 - by BioNews 
Genes can affect a person's response to statins, drugs used to lower blood cholesterol levels, say US researchers. Researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston say their study shows that knowledge about the interaction between genes and drugs is growing 'in leaps and bounds'. Their findings, published in...
HAVE YOUR SAY
Log in to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.