Statins Do Not Blunt Exercise Training Response in Chronic Heart Failure

Statins Do Not Blunt ET in HFrEF
Statins Do Not Blunt ET in HFrEF
No treatment interaction between statins and exercise training was observed in patients with chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.

Patients with chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction who used statins did not experience a blunted response in exercise training, according to data published in JACC: Heart Failure.

Jacob P. Kelly, MD, of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues analyzed data from 2331 patients from the HF-ACTION clinical trial. They wanted to determine whether there was a treatment interaction between statins and exercise training response for change in quality in life and aerobic capacity (eg, peak oxygen consumption and 6-minute walk distance).

The primary outcomes were change in peak oxygen consumption and change in Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire score from baseline to 3 months. Change in the 6-minute walk distance from baseline to 3 months served as the secondary outcome.

More than half of HF-ACTION patients (58%) were prescribed statins at baseline. These patients were more likely to be older men with ischemic heart failure etiology but with similar use of renin angiotensin system blockers and beta-blockers. They were also more likely to have hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, an elevated BUN, and a lower heart rate.

“There was no evidence of a treatment interaction between statin use and ET [exercise training] on changes in quality of life or exercise capacity, nor was there evidence of differential association between statin type and ET response for these end points,” the authors wrote.

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In addition, there was no interaction between statin use and exercise adherence with respect to exercise capacity or health-related quality of life in patients randomized to exercise training (interaction for P values for peak oxygen consumption, 6-minute walk distance, and Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire score: .44, .80, .60, respectively).

Dr Kelly and colleagues concluded that future studies are necessary to confirm their findings and should include patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction.


Kelly JP, Dunning A, Schulte PJ, et al. Statins and exercise training response in heart failure patients: insights from HF-ACTION. JACC Heart Fail. 2016. doi:10.1016/j.jchf.2016.05.006.