The effects of statins on skeletal muscle strength and exercise performance

Curr Opin Lipidol. 2010 Aug;21(4):324-8. doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e32833c1edf.


Purpose of review: HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors or statins are associated with a variety of muscle side-effects but little is known about the effect of statins on skeletal muscle strength and exercise performance. We performed a literature search to examine these issues.

Recent findings: We identified six studies examining the effect of statins on muscle strength and nine studies examining their effect on exercise tolerance. In general, studies examining both issues were small and used crude measures of strength and exercise performance.

Summary: There is insufficient data to determine if statins affect muscle strength and exercise performance. There is suggestive evidence that these drugs may reduce muscle strength in older patients and alter energy metabolism during aerobic exercise, both possibilities require further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors