Test for gene may lower statin drug side affects

July 23, 2008 3:00:18 PM PDT
Scientists may have found a way to test for and possibly avoid the most serious side effects of cholesterol lowering statin drugs. In rare cases, statins can cause muscle pain and weakness.

It's a serious side effect that can then lead to muscle breakdown, kidney failure and death.

Researchers reporting in "The New England Journal of Medicine" have identified a gene that helps predict a person's risk for this side effect.

The finding raises hopes that a test could be developed to screen heart patients to determine who might be a genetic risk.