Muscle Symptoms Unrelated to Statins; Less Sleep, Less Altruism; and Paxlovid Reduces Death in Older People

Kaitlin Edwards

August 31, 2022

Majority of Muscle Symptoms With Statins Not Due to Treatment

Muscle pain in people taking a statin is typically not related to the statin, according to new research.

Double-blind trials: Researchers examined 19 randomized double-blind trials that compared statin therapy with a placebo, which included nearly 124,000 patients.

Surprising results: For people experiencing muscle symptoms in the first year of taking a statin, only 1 in 15 of those people's symptoms are actually from the statin.

After the first year, there was no difference in muscle symptoms in those taking a statin or a placebo.

"We need to do a better job of communicating the real risk of muscle symptom to patients who are taking statins and to their doctors. At the moment, doctors often stop statins if patients complain of muscle pain, but our data show that in 14 out of 15 times, they would be wrong for doing that. Stopping the statin is nearly always a mistake," said lead investigator Colin Baigent, MD.

Sleep Loss Linked to Reduced Generosity, Even at a Neuronal Level

Sleep loss, including missing a night's sleep or even losing an hour of sleep to daylight saving time, is linked to reduced altruism, new research shows.

Self-reporting: The research looked at participants response to a Self-Report Altruism Scale questionnaire after a rested night of sleep and after 24 hours of sleep deprivation.

Less Help: Seventy-eight percent of sleep deprived participants showed significant decreased in altruistic responses.

"In this study, we demonstrate that insufficient sleep represents a causal, yet previously unrecognized, factor dictating whether or not humans choose to help each other, triggered by a breakdown in the activity of key prosocial-brain networks," said lead author Eti Ben Simon, PhD.

Paxlovid Cuts COVID Deaths Among Older People, Says Israeli Study

COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid, made by Pfizer, reduced hospitalizations and deaths in older patients but made no difference in high-risk patients younger than 65 years, new research suggests.

Conflicting research: The study showed the drug had no benefit for adults aged 40-64 years, but other research suggests otherwise. A Hong Kong study, for example, found positive results in patients aged 50-64 years.

Pfizer's studies: Paxlovid was found to reduce the risk for hospitalization and death by 88% in unvaccinated individuals who are at high risk for COVID, according to the company.

"The big story is that it works and saves quite a few lives and hospitalizations. It's very important that it's helpful for older patients," said study author Ronen Arbel, PhD.

Kaitlin Edwards is a staff medical editor based in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @kaitmedwards. For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


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