Statin therapy does not exacerbate muscle injury, pain or fatigue in people engaging in moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The findings are reassuring for people who experience muscle pain or fatigue from statins but need to engage in physical activity to keep their cholesterol levels low and their hearts healthy.
Statins have long been the gold standard for lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol and preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, but while generally well-tolerated, they can cause muscle pain and weakness in some. Physical activity is also a cornerstone of CVD prevention, especially when combined with statins; however, studies have shown vigorous exercise can increase muscle damage in some statin users, which can lead to decreased physical activity or cause people to stop taking their medication. Less is known about the impact of moderate exercise.
Researchers sought to compare the impact of moderate-intensity exercise on muscle injury in symptomatic and asymptomatic statin users, plus nonstatin using controls. Symptomatic vs. asymptomatic was determined by the presence, localization and onset of muscle cramps, pain and/or weakness using the statin myalgia clinical index score. Researchers also examined the association between leukocyte CoQ10 levels on muscle injury and muscle complaints, since statins may lower CoQ10 levels and reduced levels can predispose people to muscle injury.
In a new study from University of California San Diego School of Medicine, researchers have confirmed that patients taking statin medications had a 41 percent lower risk of in-hospital death from COVID-19. The findings were published July 15, 2021 in PLOS ONE and expand upon prior research conducted at UC San Diego Health in 2020.
Statins are commonly used to reduce blood cholesterol levels by blocking liver enzymes responsible for making cholesterol. They are widely prescribed: The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 93 percent of patients who use a cholesterol-lowering drug use a statin.
“When faced with this virus at the beginning of the pandemic, there was a lot of speculation surrounding certain medications that affect the body’s ACE2 receptor, including statins, and whether they may influence COVID-19 risk,” said Lori Daniels, MD, lead study author, professor and director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at UC San Diego Health.
“At the time, we thought that statins may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection through their known anti-inflammatory effects and binding capabilities, which could potentially stop progression of the virus.”
I must confess that my knowledge of ovarian cancer is limited to the fact that it is not a widespread disease. Fewer than 200,000 cases occur in the U.S. That being said, I can’t imagine a woman reader who doesn’t want to know more about it.
A genetic study has found evidence to suggest that women who take statins in the long term could be less likely to develop ovarian cancer, according to new research funded by Cancer Research UK published Tuesday 18 February.
The same result was also found in women who carry the BRCA1/2 gene fault. Having the BRCA1/2 fault puts women at a higher risk of ovarian cancer than the general population**.
The research published in JAMA studied genes and the extent to which they inhibit the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase – which is responsible for regulating cholesterol in the body – and is the exact enzyme targeted by statin drugs to reduce cholesterol.
While the study suggests that statins could lower ovarian cancer risk, more research needs to be done specifically looking at their use and impact on women’s risk of developing the disease.
I am reblogging this analysis I wrote two years ago. At the time I thought it was good useful information for the general public. Now, It seems my doctor says that it applies to me.
I have just had my annual flu shot and pneumonia booster. In the course of my annual check up, I also had my blood work done.
As regular readers know I am 75 years old and in the best health of my entire life. I weigh around 155 pounds and have a resting heart rate below 50 beats per minute.
Here are my Cholesterol numbers: CHOLESTEROL182 Optimal (not to be construed as a target for drug therapy): <170 mg/dL TRIGLYCERIDE41 Optimal (not to be construed as a target for drug therapy): <100 mg/dL Highly Abnormal (please review with your medical team further): >499 mg/dL
HDL CHOLESTEROL77 Optimal (not to be construed as a target for drug therapy): >50 mg/dL LDL CHOL (CALC)97 Optimal (not to be construed as a target for drug therapy): < 100 mg/dL Highly Abnormal (please review with your medical team further): >189 mg/dL
Non-HDL Cholesterol105 Optimal (not to be construed as a target for drug therapy): <120 mg/dL Highly Abnormal (please review with your medical team further): >219 mg/dL
Despite my excellent physical condition and these good test results, my doctor recommended that I go on a statin drug, atorvastatin, to reduce my risk of heart attack or stroke.
POSTED OCT 9, 2015 To clarify:
My Doctor sent me the following:
… although your cholesterol numbers are quite good your overall risk for stroke and heart attacks is still quite high. I calculated your risk of having a stroke or heart attack in the next 10 years and it is 21.6%. I did this with the new American Heart Association Guidelines (AHA) and it is based on your age,sex, race, blood pressure, smoking status and hypertension as well as diabetes. We recommend starting cholesterol medications if the risk is above 7.5%. Even though you are doing everything right your overall risk is still high, as is the risk for most 75 year old males. Many physicians would recommend that your begin a cholesterol medication so I would have your consider taking atorvastatin.
For the record, I declined the recommendation saying that I felt more comfortable relying on my positive lifestyle.
Here is what I wrote back: Thanks very much for your prompt turnaround of my blood work. I also appreciate your considered recommendation regarding taking a statin prescription. At this time I am not comfortable with that. I understand the statistics, but I think those statistics include a lot of men who are not as healthy or health-conscious as I am. I think I would like to continue on with my current lifestyle of daily exercise and healthy eating and avoid the drugs. If I find a deterioration in my condition in the future, I will revisit this decision.
“Millions more Americans could end up taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs under new recommendations released Tuesday that advocate a dramatic shift in the way doctors assess and treat cardiovascular risk,” according to the Washington Post.
“Roughly a quarter of Americans age 45 and older already take statins, which include familiar brands such as Lipitor and Zocor, to treat high cholesterol. But that number could grow sharply under far-reaching guidelines detailed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.”
The leading cause of death for Americans is heart disease. About one in every four deaths in the United States, or about 600,000 annually, are attributed to heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cholesterol helps your body build new cells, insulate nerves, and produce hormones. Normally, the liver makes all the cholesterol the body needs. But cholesterol also enters your body from food. Too…