Case study 16: Statin use and joint symptoms

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) is an ongoing broad study which looks at the health and well-being of women in Australia. The ALSWH is made up of many sub-studies. One of the sub-studies looked at middle aged and older women’s use of statins (cholesterol lowering medications) and whether they prevent the development of osteoarthritis. The researchers wanted to find out if women who took statins experienced less joint pain and/or stiffness. The researchers found that:

  • 31.3% of middle-aged women and 51.5% of older women in the sub-study took statin
  • Women taking statin did not report a reduction in new joint symptoms such as pain and/or stiffness.

How did the PHRN infrastructure help?
The AIHW annually links the ALSWH data with Medicare (Medicare Benefits Schedule and Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme) and National Death Index for the research team to analyse.

Peeters G, Tett SE, Conaghan PG, Mishra GD, Dobson AJ.

Peeters G, Tett SE, Conaghan PG, Mishra GD, Dobson AJ. Is statin use associated with new joint-related symptoms, physical function, and quality of life? Results from two population-based cohorts of women. Arthritis care & research. 2015;67(1):13-20. Accessed 15 April 2016 <>