Statin Use and Decline in Gait Speed in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the association between statin use and objectively assessed decline in gait speed in community-dwelling older adults.

DESIGN:

Longitudinal cohort study.

SETTING:

Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study.

PARTICIPANTS:

Two thousand five participants aged 70–79 at baseline with medication and gait speed data at 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2001–02, and 2002–03.

MEASUREMENTS:

The independent variables were any statin use and their standardized daily doses (low, moderate, high) and lipophilicity. The primary outcome measure was decline in gait speed of 0.1 m/s or more in the following year of statin use. Multivariable generalized estimating equations were used, adjusting for demographic characteristics, health-related behaviors, health status, and access to health care.

RESULTS:

Statin use increased from 16.2% in 1998–99 to 25.6% in 2002–03. The overall proportions of those with decline in gait speed of 0.1 m/s or more increased from 22.2% in 1998 to 23.9% in 2003. Statin use was not associated with decline in gait speed of 0.1 m/s or more (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.77–1.06). Similar nonsignificant trends were also seen with the use of hydrophilic or lipophilic statins. Users of low-dose statins were found to have a 22% lower risk of decline in gait speed than nonusers (AOR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.61–0.99), which was mainly driven by the results from 1999–2000 follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that statin use did not increase decline in gait speed in community-dwelling older adults.

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