AHA: Statins May Drain Energy Along with Cholesterol

Compared to placebo, simvastatin and pravastatin associated with decreased levels of energy

FRIDAY, Mar. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Statins effectively reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, but they also appear to reduce patients' levels of energy and activity, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's 49th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, held Mar. 10 to 14 in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Beatrice Golomb, M.D., of the University of California San Diego, and colleagues randomly assigned 1,016 adults who were free of diabetes or heart disease but had LDL levels between 115-190mg/dL to receive either simvastatin, pravastatin or placebo for six months. They assessed energy and activity at baseline on scales of 0-10 and again on follow-up, with a score of -2 indicating "much worse" and a score of +2 indicating "much better."

The researchers found that simvastatin was associated with a greater mean LDL reduction than pravastatin (49 mg/dL versus 40 mg/dL). Compared to placebo, however, they found that pravastatin was associated with a significantly higher proportion of patients who rated both their energy and activity levels as "much worse" and that simvastatin was associated with a significantly higher proportion of patients who rated their energy level as "much worse."

"Future studies should extend evaluation to higher statin doses; and include assessment of measured activity," the authors conclude.

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