Statin therapy, muscle function and falls risk in community-dwelling older adults
Scott, D and Blizzard, L and Fell, J and Jones, G, Statin therapy, muscle function and falls risk in community-dwelling older adults, Q J M: Monthly Journal of The Association of Physicians, 102, (9) pp. 625-633. ISSN 1460-2725 (2009) [Refereed Article]
Background: Statin therapy can cause myopathy,
however it is unclear whether this exacerbates
age-related muscle function declines.
Aim: To describe differences between statin users
and non-users in muscle mass, muscle function
and falls risk in a group of community-dwelling
Design: A prospective, population-based cohort
study with a mean follow-up of 2.6 years.
Methods: Total 774 older adults [48% female; mean
(standard deviation) age = 62 (7) years] were examined
at baseline and follow-up. Differences in percentage
appendicular lean mass (%ALM), leg
strength, leg muscle quality (LMQ; specific force)
and falls risk were compared for statin users and
Results: There were 147 (19%) statin users at baseline
and 179 (23%) at follow-up. Longitudinal analyses
revealed statin use at baseline predicted increased falls risk scores over 2.6 years (0.14,95% CI 0.01 to 0.27) and a trend towards
increased %ALM (0.45%, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.92).
Statin users at both time points demonstrated
decreased leg strength (5.02 kg, 95% CI 9.65 to
0.40) and LMQ (0.30 kg/kg, 95% CI 0.59 to
0.01), and trended towards increased falls risk
(0.13, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.26) compared to controls.
Finally, statin users at both baseline and follow-up
demonstrated decreased leg strength (16.17 kg,
95% CI 30.19 to 2.15) and LMQ (1.13 kg/kg,
95% CI 2.02 to 0.24) compared to those who
had ceased statin use at follow-up.
Conclusion: Statin use may exacerbate muscle performance
declines and falls risk associated with
aging without a concomitant decrease in muscle
mass, and this effect may be reversible with