Plasma coenzyme Q (CoQ) was measured in 20 hyperlipidaemic patients treated with diet and simvastatin (an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase); 22 hyperlipidaemic patients treated with diet with alone; and 20 normal controls. Patients treated with simvastatin had a significantly lower plasma CoQ and CoQ: cholesterol ratio than either patients receiving diet alone or normal controls. Use of simvastatin was inversely and independently correlated with both CoQ (p < 0.0001) and CoQ: cholesterol ratio (p < 0.01). There was a significant inverse association between CoQ and dose of simvastatin (p < 0.001). It is concluded that simvastatin may lower the plasma CoQ concentration and this may be greater than the reduction in cholesterol. The possible adverse effect of simvastatin on the metabolism of CoQ may be clinically important and requires further study.
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