Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare standard lipid profile, reported dietary intake, and physical activity in older adults who reported taking or not taking a lipid-lowering medication, namely statins.
Design: Cross-sectional study utilizing baseline data collected from a subsample of a larger randomized clinical trial, The Study of Exercise and Nutrition in Older Rhode Islanders (SENIOR) Project.
Participants and setting: A total of 115 participants, 33 males and 82 females, over the age of 60, community-dwelling, primarily retired, and from East Providence, Rhode Island and surrounding communities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Measurements: Height and weight were measured and used to calculate body mass index. Waist circumference was measured. Medical history and medication use surveys were completed. Dietary assessment was done via three 24 hour recalls using NDS-R. The Yale Physical Activity Survey was used to determine energy expenditure during exercise and a physical activity summary score. Fasting blood samples were obtained to determine lipid profile.
Results: 37 participants (32.2%) reported taking lipid-lowering medication, statins exclusively, and 78 (67.8%) reported not taking any lipid-lowering medication. Participants who reported taking statins had better lipid profiles than those participants who reported not taking statins but had significantly lower intakes of vitamin B12, vitamin K, calcium, and potassium. There were no differences between groups on reported physical activity. However, the mean intakes for both groups did not meet the Dietary Reference Intakes for multiple nutrients.
Conclusion: Older adults need additional education on the importance of lifestyle changes in reducing CHD risk, whether taking lipid-lowering medications or not.