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The effect of physical activity on muscle biology and health in statin-treated older individuals


There is a great need in today’s Europe for well trained researchers in the field of aging exercise biology. This is greatly boosted by the large increase in life expectancy and the pandemic incidence of obesity, diabetes 2 and dyslipidemias. Statins are the most effective drugs for the treatment of high cholesterol levels. However, statins are associated with several muscle problems, including rhabdomyolysis, muscle pain, weakness and cramps. These side-effects warrant attention because they limit the use of statins, decrease functional fitness and mobility as well as increase the risk of injury. This situation is particularly exacerbated in older individuals who are the major consumers of statins and who already suffer to some degree from muscle weakness. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to determine the effect of exercise –with or without prior statin administration– on skeletal muscle mass and function, physical performance, energy metabolism, blood and muscle lipid profile and oxidative stress, gait biomechanics, proprioception and quality of life. The proposed study will be the first to try to connect statins with muscle damage from molecular to organism level in an exercise context. Given the fact that taking statins combined with exercise is a very common practice, the results of this study may reveal evidence whether treatment with statins exerts beneficial, detrimental or no effects on human biology and health, particularly for the older exercising people. The fellow researcher has performed postgraduate studies in the field of exercise biology and is already director of a university-based exercise biology lab in his home country. The host institution is one of the few research institutes in Europe specializing on human biology and exercise. The scientist in charge is research lecturer in the host institute with strong experience in the field of exercise and muscle biology.

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Technologiko Parko A Vipe
38500 Volos
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 153 665,69
Administrative Contact
Elias Houstis (Prof.)