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HHS HealthBeat (July 1, 2014)

New statins, less activity

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Physical activity is good for older people. Statin drugs can be, too, if they’re prescribed to treat cholesterol. But a study indicates older people who start on statins tend to ease off activity.

At Oregon State University, researcher David Lee looked at seven years of survey data on more than 3,000 men with an average age of 73. He found statin users and non-users slacked off a bit over time. But he says new users had the sharper drops:

“Over the course of the study, they had about 33 percent greater drop in physical activity compared to nonusers.”

Lee thinks users might notice some muscle pain and weakness at the start, but people on statins can also stay active.

The study in JAMA Internal Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: July 1, 2014