Muscle pain, fatigue, and weakness are common adverse effects of statin medications and may decrease physical activity in older men.
To determine whether statin use is associated with physical activity, longitudinally and cross-sectionally.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Men participating in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (N = 5994), a multicenter prospective cohort study of community-living men 65 years and older, enrolled between March 2000 and April 2002. Follow-up was conducted through 2009.
Statin use as determined by an inventory of medications (taken within the last 30 days). In cross-sectional analyses (n = 4137), statin use categories were users and nonusers. In longitudinal analyses (n = 3039), categories were prevalent users (baseline use and throughout the study), new users (initiated use during the study), and nonusers (never used).
Main Outcomes and Measures
Self-reported physical activity at baseline and 2 follow-up visits using the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE). At the third visit, an accelerometer measured metabolic equivalents (METs [kilocalories per kilogram per hour]) and minutes of moderate activity (METs ≥3.0), vigorous activity (METs ≥6.0), and sedentary behavior (METs ≤1.5).
At baseline, 989 men (24%) were users and 3148 (76%) were nonusers. The adjusted difference in baseline PASE between users and nonusers was −5.8 points (95% CI, −10.9 to −0.7 points). A total of 3039 men met the inclusion criteria for longitudinal analysis: 727 (24%) prevalent users, 845 (28%) new users, and 1467 (48%) nonusers. PASE score declined by a mean (95% CI) of 2.5 (2.0 to 3.0) points per year for nonusers and 2.8 (2.1 to 3.5) points per year for prevalent users, a nonstatistical difference (0.3 [−0.5 to 1.0] points). For new users, annual PASE score declined at a faster rate than nonusers (difference of 0.9 [95% CI, 0.1 to 1.7] points). A total of 3071 men had adequate accelerometry data, 1542 (50%) were statin users. Statin users expended less METs (0.03 [95% CI, 0.02-0.04] METs less) and engaged in less moderate physical activity (5.4 [95% CI, 1.9-8.8] fewer minutes per day), less vigorous activity (0.6 [95% CI, 0.1-1.1] fewer minutes per day), and more sedentary behavior (7.6 [95% CI, 2.6-12.4] greater minutes per day).
Conclusions and Relevance
Statin use was associated with modestly lower physical activity among community-living men, even after accounting for medical history and other potentially confounding factors. The clinical significance of these findings deserves further investigation.