Statin use and leg functioning in patients with and without lower-extremity peripheral arterial disease

Mary Mc Grae McDermott*, Jack M. Guralnik, Philip Greenland, William H. Pearce, Michael H. Criqui, Kiang Liu, Lloyd Taylor, Cheeling Chan, Leena Sharma, Joseph R. Schneider, Paul M. Ridker, David Green, Maureen Quann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

205 Scopus citations


Background - We determined whether statin use (versus nonuse) is associated with superior lower-extremity functioning independently of cholesterol levels and other confounders in patients with and without peripheral arterial disease. Methods and Results - Participants included 392 men and women with an ankle brachial index (ABI) <0.90 and 249 with ABI 0.90 to 1.50. Functional outcomes included 6-minute walk distance and 4-meter walking velocity. A summary performance score combined performance in walking speed, standing balance, and time for 5 repeated chair rises into an ordinal score ranging from 0 to 12 (12=best). Adjusting for age, sex, ABI, comorbidities, education level, medical insurance status, cholesterol, and other confounders, participants taking statins had better 6-minute walk performance (1276 versus 1218 feet, P=0.045), faster walking velocity (0.93 versus 0.89 m/s, P=0.006), and a higher summary performance score (10.2 versus 9.4, P<0.001) than participants not taking statins. Positive associations were attenuated slightly after additional adjustment for C-reactive protein level but remained statistically significant for walking velocity and the summary performance score. We did not find significant associations between lower-extremity functioning and aspirin, ACE inhibitors, vasodilators, or β-blockers. Conclusions - Statin use is associated with superior leg functioning compared with no statin use, independent of cholesterol levels and other potential confounders. These data suggest that non-cholesterol-lowering properties of statins may favorably influence functioning in persons with and without peripheral arterial disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-761
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 11 2003


  • Inflammation
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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