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Do Statins Impact Liver in Pediatric Dyslipidemia?

February 05, 2019

In terms of liver health, the use of statins among children with dyslipidemia is safe, according to a new study that showed statins had no burden on serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevations.

To study ALT levels in this specific patient population, the researchers collected data on 943 children and adolescents between September 2010 and March 2014. Of those, 208 were treated with statins.


ALT levels of those prescribed a statin were compared with those who were not, as well as the levels before and after statin usage.

Over the 3.5-year observation period, a total 2704 ALT measurements were reports, with a median follow-up after the first ALT measurement of 18 months.

The mean ALT level in statin users was 23 (20) U/L and 28 (28) U/L in non-statin users.

After adjusting for age, sex, and race, ALT was 2.1 U/L lower among statin users, which remained reduced after adjustment of weight category (47% of all the participants had obesity).

Patients who started on statins during the observation period did not show an increase in ALT over time (ALT 0.9 U/L increase per year).

“In our study population, we did not observe a higher burden of ALT elevations among pediatric patients on statins as compared to those with dyslipidemia who are not on statins, supporting the hepatic safety of statin use in childhood,” the researchers concluded.

—Colleen Murphy


Desai NK, Mendelson MM, Baker A, et al. Hepatotoxicity of statins as determined by serum alanine aminotransferase in a pediatric cohort with dyslipidemia. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2019;68(2):175-181. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002174.

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