A cholesterol-lowering drug appears to disrupt sleep patterns of some patients, researchers reported at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2007.
“The findings are significant because sleep problems can affect quality of life and may have adverse health consequences, such as promoting weight gain and insulin resistance,” said Beatrice Golomb, M.D., lead author of the study and an associate professor of medicine and family and preventive medicine at the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers compared two types of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins—simvastatin, which is lipophilic (soluble in fats), and pravastatin, which is hydrophilic (soluble in water). Because simvastatin is fat soluble it can more readily penetrate cell membranes and cross the blood brain barrier into the brain. The brain controls sleep, and many of the brain’s nerve cells are wrapped in a fatty insulating sheath called myelin.
“The results showed that simvastain use was associated with significantly worse sleep quality. A significantly greater number of individuals taking simvastatin reported sleep problems than those taking either pravastain or the placebo,” Golomb said. “On average, the lipophilic statin had a greater adverse effect on sleep quality.”
Release date: November 7, 2007
Source: American Heart Association
Filed Under: Drug Discovery