Aerobic Exercise Performance and Muscle Strength in Statin Users-The LIFESTAT Study.Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019 07; 51(7):1429-1437.MS
Statins are widely used in both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. The treatment increases the risk of muscle pain (myalgia) which can affect muscle function and levels of physical activity. We investigated whether statin-associated myalgia is coupled to impaired aerobic exercise performance including fat oxidation as well as impaired muscle strength.
A population-based survey (6000 people) was performed to assess the prevalence of statin-associated myalgia in the Danish population. In addition, 64 statin users in primary prevention with myalgia (M; n = 25; 61 ± 1 yr) or without myalgia (NM; n = 37; 63 ± 1 yr) as well as a control group not taking statins (C; n = 20; 60 ± 2 yr) were enrolled in a cross-sectional study where they performed aerobic exercise and muscle strength tests.
The response rate for the survey was 51% and data showed a prevalence of statin-associated myalgia in 19% of responders using statins. The experimental study showed no difference between the groups in aerobic capacity (C, 29 ± 1 mL O2·min·kg; M, 27 ± 1 mL O2·min·kg; NM, 28 ± 1 mL O2·min·kg) or maximal fat oxidation (C, 247 ± 26 mg·min; M, 295 ± 24 mg·min; NM, 279 ± 17 mg·min). Measurements of strength were similar in all three groups including rate of force development (C, 795 ± 56 N·m·s; M, 930 ± 93 N·m·s; NM, 971 ± 57 N·m·s) and leg extension power (C: 2.6 ± 0.2; M: 2.3 ± 0.1; NM: 2.4 ± 0.1 W·kg). All results are mean ± SEM.
Statin users in primary prevention experiencing myalgia do not have impaired aerobic exercise performance or muscle strength compared to nonmyalgic statin users or control subjects.