Taking a Statin for Cholesterol? You Still Need to Exercise.

Taking a Statin for Cholesterol? You Still Need to Exercise. Older men who were prescribed statins (the cholesterol-lowering medications associated with muscle pain, fatigue and weakness) engaged in modestly lower physical activity according to a recent JAMA study.

Take these? Still need to exercise.

David S.H. Lee, Pharm.D., of Oregon State University/Oregon Health and Science University College of Pharmacy, Portland, and colleagues examine the relationship between self-reported physical activity and statin use with seven years of follow-up. The average age of the men in the study was nearly 73 years. Of the 3,039 men 727 (24 percent) were statin users and 1,467 (48 percent) never used a statin during the follow-up period. About one-quarter of the men (n=845) first reported using a statin during the follow-up. Scores on a self-reported physical activity questionnaire declined by an average of 2.5 points per year for nonusers and 2.8 points per year for prevalent users, a difference that was not statistically significant. However for new users, annual scores declined at a faster rate than nonusers. A total of 3,071 men (1,542 of them statin users) had engaged in less moderate physical activity with 5.4 fewer minutes per day; less vigorous activity with 0.6 fewer minutes per day and had more sedentary behavior with 7.6 more minutes per day. Physical activity is important for older adults to remain healthy. Muscle pain, fatigue, and weakness are common side effects in patients prescribed statins. But it is no excuse not to continue to exercise.