The safety of rosuvastatin in comparison with other statins in over 25 000 statin users in the Saskatchewan Health Databases


  • MAW and SJ are employees of AstraZeneca R&D Mölndal, Sweden. AstraZeneca manufactures rosuvastatin.

  • LAGR and AGP are employed by CEIFE, which has received research grants from AstraZeneca.



To compare mortality and the incidence of hospitalization for myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, acute renal failure and acute liver injury in patients receiving rosuvastatin and those taking other statins.


Patients prescribed a statin that they had not used before were selected from the Saskatchewan Health Databases (SHD) and followed up from 1 July 2003 until 31 March 2005.


We studied 10 384 patients on rosuvastatin and 14 854 taking other statins. Two cases of myopathy were identified (one on rosuvastatin, one on another statin). The relative risk (RR) of myopathy in patients currently taking rosuvastatin compared with other statins was 1.31 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.13–13.41). Two cases of rhabdomyolysis were detected among current rosuvastatin users (incidence: 2.9 [95% CI: 0.8–10.7] per 10 000 person-years). No cases of acute liver injury occurred among rosuvastatin patients. Seventeen cases of acute renal failure were identified (five among rosuvastatin users, 12 taking other statins). The RR of acute renal failure in current rosuvastatin users compared with other statins was 0.49 (95% CI: 0.16–1.50).

We identified 285 deaths during the study period (87 among rosuvastatin users, 198 taking other statins). The RR of death in current rosuvastatin users compared with other statins was 0.42 (95% CI: 0.32–0.57).


We found no evidence that patients prescribed rosuvastatin were at greater risk of the study outcomes than patients prescribed other statins. There was no evidence of increased mortality among patients taking rosuvastatin, even after allowing for age, sex and prior statin use. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.