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Heart failure patients treated initially with statins had a 25 percent reduced risk of death, as well as a lower risk for hospitalization, according to a study described in the November 1 issue of JAMA.
Alan S. Go, M.D., Kaiser Permanente of Northern California,and colleagues examined the relationship between statin therapy and associated risks including death and other complications in patients with heart failure who were eligible for lipid-lowering therapy.
Statins have been shown to effectively lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. However, complications of statin treatment include a higher risk of adverse events in patients with heart failure and low LDL cholesterol levels.
The study (1996 – 2004) included 24,598 adults, approximately half of the participants (n = 12,648) initiated statin therapy. The study followed the patients for a median of 2.4 years after initiation of statin. During the followup period, 8,235 patients died.
The data showed that patients initially using statin had a 24 percent lower relative risk of death (14.5 deaths per 100 person-years compared with not taking a statin (25.3 deaths per 100 person-years). Adjustments of the analysis included the patient's cholesterol level and concomitant cardiovascular medications. Statin use was also associated with a 21 percent lower relative risk of hospitalization for heart failure. The correlation between lower risks for death and hospitalization were evident regardless of the presence of known coronary heart disease.
The researchers concluded that further study of the role of statins in patients with nonischemic heart failure who do not receive lipid-lowering therapy as part of their treatment protocol are needed.
Statin Therapy and Risks for Death and Hospitalization in Chronic Heart Failure. JAMA. 2006;296:2105-2111.
About the Author
Jeanne Bohm, Ph.D. is a cancer biologist by training, a medical writer and an experienced science educator.
The author has no financial relationship to any of the companies listed in the article.