Lifestyle and dietary advice typically precedes or accompanies the prescription of statin medications. However, evidence for adherence to this advice is sparse. The objective was to compare saturated fat intake, exercise, alcohol consumption and smoking between statin users and non-users in Australia.Methods
Data were analysed for 4614 participants aged ≥37 years in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle study in 2011–2012. Statin use, smoking status and physical activity were self-reported. Saturated fat and alcohol intake were measured via a food frequency questionnaire. Multinomial logistic regression was used to compute adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between statin use and the four lifestyle factors. All models were adjusted for age, sex, education, number of general practitioner visits, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes and prior cardiovascular diseases.Results
In total 1108 (24%) participants used a statin. Statin users were 29% less likely to be within the highest quartile versus the lowest quartile of daily saturated fat intake compared to non-users (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.54–0.94). There were no statistically significant associations between statin use and smoking, physical activity or alcohol consumption.Conclusions
Smoking status, alcohol consumption and exercise level did not differ between users and non-users of statins. However, statin users were less likely to consume high levels of saturated fat than non-users. We found no evidence that people took statins to compensate for a poor diet or lifestyle.