Background: The present study examined if increases in creatine kinase (CK) levels during high-dose atorvastatin treatment are associated with changes in skeletal muscle function and symptoms.
Methods: The Effect of Statins on Muscle Performance study (STOMP) investigated the effects of atorvastatin 80 mg daily for 6 months on muscle performance, exercise capacity, and the incidence of statin-associated muscle complaints in healthy adults.
Results: CK levels increased with atorvastatin (n = 202) from 132.3 ± 120.9 U/L (mean ± SD) at baseline to 159.7 ± 170.4 and 153.1 ± 139.4 U/L at 3 and 6 months, respectively (P ≤ 0.002 for both). Changes in CK with atorvastatin treatment were not associated with changes in muscle function or the incidence of myalgia. More subjects on atorvastatin (n = 24) compared to placebo (n = 12 of 217) doubled their CK level at 6 months (P = 0.02). No differences in muscle function or physical activity were observed between atorvastatin-treated subjects who did or did not double their CK.
Conclusions: Results of the present investigation extend the findings of STOMP by demonstrating that greater increases in CK levels with high-dose atorvastatin treatment did not deleteriously impact skeletal muscle function or predict skeletal muscle complaints. This study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00609063).
Keywords: Exercise; Muscle; Myalgia; Statins.
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