Statin-Associated Polymyalgia Rheumatica. An Analysis Using WHO Global Individual Case Safety Database: A Case/Non-Case Approach

Hilda J. I. de Jong*, Siti R. F. Saldi, Olaf H. Klungel, Rob J. Vandebriel, Patrick C. Souverein, Ronald H. B. Meyboom, J. L. M. (Anneke) Passier, Henk van Loveren, Jan Willem Cohen Tervaert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To assess whether there is an association between statin use and the occurrence of polymyalgia rheumatic (PMR) in the spontaneous reporting database of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Methods: We conducted a case/non-case study based on individual case safety reports (ICSR) in the WHO global ICSR database (VigiBase). Case reports containing the adverse event term polymyalgia rheumatica (WHOART or MedDRA Preferred Term) were defined as cases. Non-cases were all case reports containing other adverse event terms. Each case was matched to five non-cases by age, gender, and time of reporting. Case reports regarding a statin as suspected or concomitant drug were identified using the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate reporting odds ratios (RORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: We identified 327 reports of PMR as cases and 1635 reports of other ADRs as non-cases. Among cases, statins were more frequently reported as suspected agent (29.4%) compared to non-cases (2.9%). After adjustment for several covariates, statins were significantly associated with reports of PMR (ROR 14.21; 95% CI 9.89-20.85). Conclusion: The results of this study lends support to previous anecdotal case reports in the literature suggesting that the use of a statin may be associated with the occurrence of PMR. Further studies are needed to study the strength of the association in more detail and to elucidate the underlying mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere41289
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2012

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