For example, a 2007 review of 13 trials involving nearly 18,000 people hospitalized in the United States for acute coronary syndrome found a 24 percent reduction of adverse cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke among those given statin therapy. No significant difference was seen in the first four months after hospital discharge, but the benefit was clear after six months, and the reduced risk persisted for at least two years, that review found.
The major benefit noted in the Czech study was a nearly two-thirds reduction in angina, which occurred in 7.7 percent of those in the statin group versus 20.5 percent of those not taking the drug.
There was also an expected 29.5 percent reduction in blood levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol among those who took the statin, the Czech physicians noted.
But the benefit seen in the study most likely was not due to the cholesterol-lowering effect of the statin, said AHA spokesman Dr. Alan Daugherty, assistant dean of research and director of the University of Kentucky Cardiovascular Research Center.
"Statins have unique anti-inflammatory properties that could contribute to the benefit," Daugherty said.
There's more on statins at the American Heart Association.
SOURCES: Robert A. Harrington, M.D., professor, medicine, and director, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, N.C.; Alan Daugherty, Ph.D., D.Sc., director, University of Kentucky Cardiovascular Research Center, Lexington; May 1, 2009, American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.
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