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Background Compared to Caucasians, Chinese achieve a higher blood concentration of statin for a given dose. It remains unknown whether this translates to increased risk of serious statinassociated adverse events amongst Chinese patients. Methods We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study of older adults (mean age, 74 years) newly prescribed a statin in Ontario, Canada between 2002 and 2013, where 19,033 Chinese (assessed through a validated surname algorithm) were matched (1:3) by propensity score to 57,099 non-Chinese. This study used linked healthcare databases. Findings The follow-up observation period (mean 1.1, maximum 10.8 years) was similar between groups, as were the reasons for censoring the observation period (end of follow-up, death, or statin discontinuation). Forty-seven percent (47%) of Chinese were initiated on a higher than recommended statin dose. Compared to non-Chinese, Chinese ethnicity did not associate with any of the four serious statin-associated adverse events assessed in this study [rhabdomyolysis hazard ratio (HR) 0.61 (95% CI 0.28 to 1.34), incident diabetes HR 1.02 (95% CI 0.80 to 1.30), acute kidney injury HR 0.90 (95% CI 0.72 to 1.13), or all-cause mortality HR 0.88 (95% CI 0.74 to 1.05)]. Similar results were observed in subgroups defined by statin type and dose. Conclusions We observed no higher risk of serious statin toxicity in Chinese than matched non-Chinese older adults with similar indicators of baseline health. Regulatory agencies should review available data, including findings from our study, to decide if a change in their statin dosing recommendations for people of Chinese ethnicity is warranted.