An update on the relationship between statins and physical activity

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review examined studies published within the last 16 months that investigated the relationship between statins and physical activity.

Recent findings

These recent studies suggest that statins do not adversely affect cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, athletic performance, or physical activity adherence. One recent study comparing patients with statin-associated myalgia and nonstatin-using controls did report that statins are associated with a slowing of time to peak power output, increased abdominal adiposity, and insulin resistance. Statin users also had different muscle gene expression than controls, but conclusions are limited by the design of that study.

Summary

Previous reports suggest that statin-associated muscle symptoms such as myalgia, cramps, and weakness occur more frequently in physically active individuals, but the recent studies we reviewed do not provide additional support for this possibility. Well-designed clinical trials are needed to determine whether different statins or statin doses evoke statin-associated muscle symptoms or muscle damage that may reduce cardiorespiratory fitness and adherence to physical activity.

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