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Eur J Clin Invest. 2005 Apr;35(4):251-8.

Effects of simvastatin on blood lipids, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 levels and left ventricular function in humans.

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Greenslopes Private Hospital and The Wesley Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.



As statin therapy has been reported to reduce antioxidants such as vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 and there are indications that this reduction may cause impairment of left ventricular function (LVF), we studied the influence of simvastatin on LVF and serum vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 levels in humans.


We assessed the effect of simvastatin on left ventricular function and coenzyme Q10 levels in 21 (11 male, 10 female) hypercholesterolaemic subjects (mean age = 56 years) with normal LVF, over a period of 6 months. Subjects were re-tested after a 1-month wash-out period (7 months). Echocardiography was performed on all subjects before commencement of simvastatin (20 mg day(-1)), and at 1, 3, 6 and 7 months after initiation of treatment. Fasting blood samples were also collected at these intervals to assess lipids, apoproteins, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10.


Serum lipids showed the expected reductions. Plasma vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 levels were reduced by 17 +/- 4% (P < 0.01) and 12 +/- 4% (P < 0.03) at 6 months. However, the coenzyme Q10/LDL-cholesterol ratio and vitamin E/LDL-cholesterol ratio increased significantly. Left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) decreased transiently after 1 month, while no significant change was observed at 3 and 6 months. Other markers of left ventricular function did not change significantly at any time point.


Despite reduced plasma vitamin E and coenzyme Q10, 20 mg of simvastatin therapy is associated with a significantly increased coenzyme Q10/LDL-cholesterol ratio and vitamin E/LDL-cholesterol ratio. Simvastatin treatment is not associated with impairment in left ventricular systolic or diastolic function in hypercholesterolaemic subjects after 6 months of treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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