Statins are related to impaired exercise capacity in males but not females.

PLoS One. 2017 Jun 15;12(6):e0179534

Bahls M, Groß S, Ittermann T, Busch R, Gläser S, Ewert
R, Völzke H, Felix SB, Dörr M

BACKGROUND: Exercise and statins reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD). Exercise
capacity may be assessed using cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET). Whether
statin medication is associated with CPET parameters is unclear. We investigated
if statins are related with exercise capacity during CPET in the general
METHODS: Cross-sectional data of two independent cohorts of the Study of Health
in Pomerania (SHIP) were merged (n = 3,500; 50% males). Oxygen consumption (VO2)
at peak exercise (VO2peak) and anaerobic threshold (VO2@AT) was assessed during
symptom-limited CPET. Two linear regression models related VO2peak with statin
usage were calculated. Model 1 adjusted for age, sex, previous myocardial
infarction, and physical inactivity and model 2 additionally for body mass index,
smoking, hypertension, diabetes and estimated glomerular filtration rate.
Propensity score matching was used for validation.
RESULTS: Statin usage was associated with lower VO2peak (no statin: 2336;
95%-confidence interval [CI]: 2287-2,385 vs. statin 2090; 95%-CI: 2,031-2149
ml/min; P < .0001) and VO2@AT (no statin: 1,172; 95%-CI: 1,142-1,202 vs. statin:
1,111; 95%-CI: 1,075-1,147 ml/min; P = .0061) in males but not females (VO2peak:
no statin: 1,467; 95%-CI: 1,417-1,517 vs. statin: 1,503; 95%-CI: 1,426-1,579
ml/min; P = 1.00 and VO2@AT: no statin: 854; 95%-CI: 824-885 vs. statin 864;
95%-CI: 817-911 ml/min; P = 1.00). Model 2 revealed similar results. Propensity
scores analysis confirmed the results.
CONCLUSION: In the general population present statin medication was related with
impaired exercise capacity in males but not females. Sex specific effects of
statins on cardiopulmonary exercise capacity deserve further research