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Posted by on May 23, 2013 |

Statins’ Effect on Exercise

Statins’ Effect on Exercise

A recent study published online in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, suggests that statins, which are the most commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering medications, may interfere with the fitness benefits of exercise.

The New York Times reports that the study tested a group of overweight, inactive men and women who all had multiple symptoms of metabolic problems, including wide waistlines, high blood pressure or excess abdominal fat, before and after a supervised 12-week exercise program. Half of the group was also given a 40-milligram dose of statins.

At the end of 12 weeks, the unmedicated group significantly improved their aerobic fitness by more than 10% on average. Conversely, the medicated group improved their aerobic fitness by barely 1% on average and some even had less aerobic capacity by the end of the study.

The researchers found that this discrepancy was a result of the reaction that taking statins has on enzyme levels. For people taking the drug, enzyme levels related to the health of mitochrondria, the energy-producing parts of a cell, fell by about 4.5%, but for the unmedicated group, enzyme levels increased by 13%. In essence, those taking statins reaped significantly less health benefits from exercise than those who were unmedicated.

Experts still advise that for certain people, such as those with high cholesterol or a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, statins can reduce the risk of a heart attack and help save lives. If you have questions about this study or the medications you’re on, please speak with your doctor. To find a cardiologist in your area call 1-800-642-0101 or visit www.AdventistHealthCare.com/FindaDoc.

Do you know if you are at risk for heart disease? Discover your heart age and learn how to live heart healthy today with our FREE online heart health risk assessment at www.TrustedHeartCare.com.

Washington Adventist Hospital

Washington Adventist Hospital is a 252-bed acute-care facility located in Takoma Park, Maryland. Opened in 1907, the hospital is Montgomery County’s first cardiac center, performing hundreds of open-heart surgeries and thousands of heart catheterizations each year.

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