Scientists identify mechanism behind statin-induced muscle weakness

New research suggests that muscle weakness and related side effects that can arise from statin use is likely due to the drug's effect on the energy production centers, or mitochondria, of muscle cells.

The researchers, from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands, report their findings in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Statins are a commonly prescribed medication for lowering cholesterol; they work by blocking cholesterol production in the liver. Cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which cause nearly 1 in 3 deaths among Americans.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a quarter of American adults aged 40 and over use a prescription cholesterol-lowering medication, the vast majority of these being statins.

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