Statin use and peripheral sensory perception: A pilot study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • OBJECTIVES: Peripheral sensory neuropathy is a neurological deficit resulting in decreased detection of sensation through the peripheral nervous system. Peripheral sensory neuropathy is commonly diagnosed with the use of a monofilament and either a tuning fork or neurothesiometer. Statins are a widely used medication and there has been some debate of association with their use and peripheral sensory neuropathy. This pilot study aimed to test the sensory perception of participants with long-term statin use and compare these results to their peers who were not taking statins. METHODS: Thirty participants were recruited and equally divided into a statin and non-statin group. Healthy participants were screened by their medical and medication history, Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk assessment, and random blood glucose level. An assessor who was blinded to the participant group conducted sensory assessments using a 10 g monofilament and neurothesiometer. RESULTS: There was no difference in monofilament testing results between the groups. The statin group was less sensate at the styloid process (p = 0.031) and medial malleolus (p = 0.003) than the control group. Results at the hallux were not statistically significant (p = 0.183). CONCLUSION: This result is suggestive of a potential association between long-term statin use and a decrease in peripheral sensory perception. This may be because of peripheral sensory neuropathy. Limitations such as consideration of participant height, participant numbers, and inability to analyze results against statin groups are reported. As statins are a life-saving medication, careful consideration should be applied to these results and further research be conducted to determine if these results are applicable to larger populations.

publication date

  • 2014