Emaad Mohammad, BMSc '18


Emaad Mohammad

The Effect of Statin Medication on Exercise Capacity in Cardiac Rehabilitation: A Retrospective Cohort Study

-Project supervised by Dr. Neville Suskin and completed in 2017


Objective: This study sought to determine if statin medication impairs improvement in cardiovascular fitness.

Background: Previous literature has shown statin medication to be associated with muscle side effects. Patients in cardiac rehabilitation often use statin medication to control lipid levels. The side effects of statin medications may hamper improvements in exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation programs yet this has not been studied.

Methods: This study examined the effect of statin medication on change in metabolic equivalents of task (METs) in response to exercise training in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program and Secondary Prevention (CRSP) Program at St. Joseph’s Health Care London. Historical data was analyzed grouping patients on statin medication versus non-statin lipid lowering medication, or no lipid lowering medication, or both of the non-statin groups together. Three analyses were conducted: (1) using data for patients that were consistent with the medication type at intake and exit, (2) using data for patient medication type at intake, and (3) using data for patient medication type at exit. The primary outcome was mean change in MET score from entry to exit in the program.

Results: There were 2966 participants in the cardiac rehabilitation program database. Cardiorespiratory fitness increased from baseline to follow-up (p<0.05). Patients on statin medication did not differ from the control groups on mean change in METs in any of the analyses (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Statin medications do not hamper improvement in cardiovascular fitness in exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation programs.

About Emaad

Emaad Mohammad, BMSc '18, is currently studying Medicine at Queen's University.