The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.


Letter to the Editor

Editor, – The article on statins in older adults (Aust Prescr 2013;36:79-82 ) has suggested that further information regarding effects of statins is important to inform clinical decision making in these patients.

There may be other patient groups where further information on the effects of statins is also important, for example indigenous Australians. A recent article described 15 cases of serious statin-associated myotoxicity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 1 Outcomes included death (three cases), and permanent severe disability (two cases) including effective quadraplegia. These patients were considerably younger (mean age 55 years) than the group generally considered at risk of statin myotoxicity.

Genevieve Gabb
Senior staff specialist
SA Health


Authors' comments

Sarah Hilmer and Danijela Gnjidic, the authors of the article, comment:

We thank Genevieve Gabb for her comments. We agree that it is important to study the effects of drugs in special populations. In the case of statins, older people differ from other special populations because they account for a large proportion of statin users in the community.

We also agree that adverse effects from statins are common across all age groups. In addition to muscle symptoms, younger patients may also experience statin-related adverse effects such as loss of energy and worsening fatigue with exertion.2


Genevieve Gabb

Senior staff specialist, SA Health, Adelaide

Sarah Hilmer

Danijela Gnjidic