No adverse effects of statins on muscle function and health-related parameters in the elderly: an exercise study

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2013 Oct;23(5):556-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2011.01437.x. Epub 2012 Jan 31.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a repeated bout of eccentric exercise on health-related parameters and muscle performance on subjects undergoing atorvastatin therapy. Twenty-eight elderly men participated in the investigation and were assigned either in a control (n = 14) or in a statin therapy group (n = 14). All participants performed two isokinetic eccentric exercise bouts separated by 3 weeks. Muscle damage indices, resting energy expenditure, substrate metabolism, lipid and lipoprotein profile, as well as insulin sensitivity, were evaluated before and after eccentric. No differences in muscle function were observed between the two groups either at rest or after exercise. Eccentric exercise increased resting energy expenditure, increased fat oxidation, improved lipid profile, and increased insulin resistance 2 days after both eccentric exercise bouts. However, these changes appeared to lesser extent after the second bout. No differences were observed in the responses in the health-related parameters in the control and in the statin therapy group. Eccentric exercise affected similarly the control and the atorvastatin-treated individuals. The present results indicate that atorvastatin-treated elderly individuals may participate in various physical activities, even high-intensity muscle-damaging activities, without negative impact on muscle function and adaptation.

Keywords: eccentric exercise; hypercholesterolemia; insulin resistance; lipid profile; muscle damage; substrate oxidation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Aged
  • Atorvastatin
  • Body Constitution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet Records
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Heptanoic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Heptanoic Acids / adverse effects
  • Heptanoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Maximal Voluntary Ventilation / drug effects
  • Maximal Voluntary Ventilation / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Pyrroles / administration & dosage
  • Pyrroles / adverse effects
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use*


  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Pyrroles
  • Atorvastatin