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Research Letter
May 1, 2017

Association of Statin Use With Risk of Back Disorder Diagnoses

Author Affiliations
  • 1Medical Service, Veterans Affairs (VA) North Texas Health Care System, Dallas
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • 3Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • 4Department of Pharmacy Practice, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Dallas
  • 5Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington
JAMA Intern Med. Published online May 1, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1068

Back pain results in tremendous disability and cost; therefore, understanding predisposing or protective factors deserves attention. Statins are widely used, but there is no consensus on whether statins are protective1 of or deleterious24 to musculoskeletal conditions. A previously published propensity score (PS)–matched study of statin users and nonusers found an association between statin use and increased risk of use-related injury and arthropathies.2 Scarce data exist on the association of statins with back pain.3,4 Because statins may increase vulnerability to myalgias and contribute to the myopathic component often experienced with back pain, the objective of this study was to examine the association of statin use with the risk of back disorder diagnoses. Our a priori hypothesis was that statin use would be associated with back disorders, including spondylosis and intervertebral disc disorders.

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