Background: statin drugs may induce skeletal myopathy, but might also have the potential to improve rehabilitation outcomes by improving sarcopenia or by preventing intercurrent illness. We examined the association between statin use and functional outcomes in the rehabilitation of older people.
Methods: retrospective cohort study using routinely collected clinical data. Admissions to Royal Victoria Hospital, Dundee for inpatient rehabilitation over a 10-year period were identified. Data were available regarding demographics, statin therapy, antiplatelet therapy, admission and discharge Barthel scores, length of stay and comorbid disease. Multivariate analyses were performed to examine the difference between admission and discharge Barthel score in patients taking statins compared with those not taking statins.
Results: a total of 3,422 patients were included. Mean age was 81.4 years; 40% were male. Baseline Barthel scores were similar in the statin/non-statin groups, respectively (10.4/20 versus 10.3/20, P = 0.57). Improvement in the Barthel score between admission and discharge was greater in the statin than non-statin group (3.59 versus 4.30 points, P < 0.001) after adjustment for age, sex, baseline Barthel score and comorbid disease.
Conclusion: statin use was associated with improved Barthel scores on discharge from rehabilitation. This gain could contribute to improved outcomes as part of the rehabilitation package and requires further prospective investigation.