Aims: To investigate associations between HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (statin) use and muscle strength, balance, mobility and falls in older people.
Methods: Five hundred community-dwelling people aged 70-90 years provided information about their medication use and undertook tests of lower limb strength, postural sway, leaning balance (maximal balance range and coordinated stability tests) and functional mobility. Participants were then followed up for 12 months with respect to falls.
Results: After adjusting for general health in analyses of covariance procedures, statin users had poorer maximal balance range than non-statin users (P = 0.017). Statin and non-statin users did not differ with respect to strength, postural sway, mobility or falls experienced in the follow-up year.
Conclusion: In a sample of healthy older people, statin use was not associated with muscle weakness, postural sway, reduced mobility or falls. Statin users, however, had poorer leaning balance which may potentially increase fall risk in this group.
© 2011 The Authors; Internal Medicine Journal © 2011 Royal Australasian College of Physicians.