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Comment & Response
March 14, 2017

Adverse Effects of Statins

Author Affiliations
  • 1Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
  • 2Clinical Biostatistics, Johnson & Johnson, San Diego, California
JAMA. 2017;317(10):1079-1080. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0148

To the Editor Dr Thompson’s article1 evaluated current evidence related to statin-associated adverse events. We note a common misinterpretation of the P value and its complement (1-P) in his discussion of the Effect of Statins on Skeletal Muscle Performance (STOMP) trial. He presented the results of a hypothesis test that assumed a null hypothesis of equal myalgia rates for statin and placebo populations. He correctly noted nonsignificance but concluded that statins caused myalgia symptoms with a probability of 0.946 (94.6%), essentially stating a posterior probability regarding the veracity of the alternative hypothesis that statins cause myalgia. It appears the latter assertion arose from subtracting the P value .054 (5.4%) from 1 (100%).