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Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2006 Jul;15(7):444-53.

The comparative safety of rosuvastatin: a retrospective matched cohort study in over 48,000 initiators of statin therapy.

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  • 1i3 Drug Safety, Newton, MA 02466, USA.



The purpose of this study was to compare incidence rates of hospitalization associated with rhabdomyolysis, myopathy, renal, or hepatic dysfunction, and of in-hospital death, between initiators of rosuvastatin and other statins.


This was a matched cohort study of statin initiators from the administrative database of a large health insurer in the US, during the first 6 months of rosuvastatin availability with up to 18 months of follow-up. All outcome events were verified by medical record review. Incidence rates, risk ratios, and associated 95% confidence intervals were estimated.


From an initial pool of 12,217, 11,249 eligible rosuvastatin initiators were matched to 37,282 initiators of other statins. The incidence rate (IR) per 1000 person-years for rhabdomyolysis was 0.10 [0.00, 0.55] for rosuvastatin initiators (n = 1) and 0.06 [0.01, 0.22] for other statin initiators (n = 2), for a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.98 [0.18, 21.90]. The IR for myopathy was 0.20 [0.02, 0.71] for rosuvastatin initiators (n = 2) and 0.00 [0.00, 0.09] for other statin initiators (n = 0). The IR for renal dysfunction was 1.18 [0.61, 2.06] for rosuvastatin initiators (n = 12) and 1.26 [0.91, 1.71] for other statin initiators (n = 42), for a HR of 0.90 [0.47, 1.73]. The IR for hepatic dysfunction was 0.20 (0.02, 0.71) for rosuvastatin initiators (n = 2) and 0.24 (0.10, 0.47) for other statin initiators (n = 8), for a HR of 0.87 (0.18, 4.14).


This study found no difference between rosuvastatin and the other statins in the incidence of hospitalizations associated with renal or hepatic events, or death. The absolute incidence rates of rhabdomyolysis and myopathy were reassuringly low among all statin initiators but remain too small for firm conclusions to be drawn on any difference between the statins.

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