Tags: statins | exercise | less | study

Statins and Exercise: Cholesterol Inhibitors Lead to Less Activity

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 07:49 AM

People taking statins, widely prescribed as cholesterol inhibitors, may be inclined to exercise less than those not taking the drug, a new study finds.

"Some people have suggested that statins are a magic pill," David Lee, an assistant professor of pharmacy at Oregon Health Sciences University and lead author of the study, told NPR. "Maybe people take a statin and they feel like they don't need to exercise anymore."

Lee's findings were published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, and observed over 3,000 older men, tracking their levels of physical activity with a wearable accelerometer.

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After controlling for the effects of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, the research team found that though somewhat small, statin users were more sedentary than their peers who weren't on the drugs.

The Daily Mail reported that statin users averaged about 40 minutes less of moderate physical activity over a one-week period, the equivalent of losing 150 minutes of walking per week. This is a big loss for older people who are already fairly sedentary, said Lee.

Speculating as to why the statin users were more sedentary, the team pointed to increased muscle soreness caused by the drugs, and mitochondria interference. Mitochondria act as the energy centers in cells, and interfering with them could make people more tired, and thus more sedentary.

Lee said the purpose of his study wasn't to make people afraid of statins, however.

"As far as cardiovascular health goes, blood pressure medications and statins are responsible for the biggest changes the past 20 years," he said. He simply wants to remind statin users and those considering statins that they must remain or get active if they can.

"I don't want to discourage people from taking statins," he said. "I think the most important thing for older people is to be active," he said.

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People taking statins, widely prescribed as cholesterol inhibitors, may be inclined to exercise less than those not taking the drug, a new study finds.
statins, exercise, less, study
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2014-49-10
Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 07:49 AM
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