Navigation Links
Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs May Ease Irregular Heartbeat

Statins effective against atrial fibrillation, analysis shows

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Statins such as Crestor, Lipitor or Zocor that are prescribed to lower cholesterol levels may also cut the risk of atrial fibrillation, the abnormal heartbeat that boosts the odds of a stroke, French researchers report.

An analysis of six controlled studies with more than 3,500 participants showed that those patients who received statins had a decreased risk of incidence or recurrence of atrial fibrillation, said lead researcher Dr. Laurent Fauchier, a professor of cardiology at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Trousseau in Tours.

His team will publish the findings Feb. 26 in a special issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that focused on atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation occurs when the two upper chambers of the heart quiver rather than beating in a coordinated way. Blood can pool in the chambers, and clots can form that travel to the brain, causing a stroke. The incidence of atrial fibrillation rises with age and experts estimate that the condition is present in more than 5 percent of Americans over the age of 70. One 2006 study put the number of Americans with atrial fibrillation at over 5 million.

Participants in the trials either had experienced atrial fibrillation in the past or had a high risk of the condition after a heart attack or bypass surgery.

Overall, those who got statins had a 61 percent lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation than those who did not, the analysis found.

Still, the time has not yet come when statin therapy can be recommended for treatment of atrial fibrillation, Fauchier said.

"I think it is too early to use statins only for atrial fibrillation," he said.

That belief was echoed by Dr. Christopher Cannon, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. Cannon is also a senior investigator in the TIMI (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction) Group, which has done studies on statins and atrial fibrillation.

"It would be nice to see a larger number of patients studied for longer periods," Cannon said.

The new analysis shows that statin therapy "is very encouraging as a potential treatment for preventing atrial fibrillation, but larger studies are needed before it is used widely," he said.

Cannon noted that the largest study included in the report did not see a significant difference in the incidence of atrial fibrillation, "but that was just for a short period of time, four months."

As for the mechanism by which statins might reduce atrial fibrillation, it probably has nothing to do with their cholesterol-lowering ability, Cannon said. "We believe that statins reduce inflammation," he said. "That would be a mechanism to reduce incidence of atrial fibrillation, which could be related to inflammation around the heart."

The French report provides a reminder to cardiologists about the value of continuing statin therapy for people who undergo bypass surgery because of blocked coronary arteries, Cannon added.

"In bypass surgery, that can be overlooked because the doctor is focusing on short-term goals," he said. "This study suggests that it is reasonable to keep patients on statins during their hospital stay. It might have some benefits."

In the same issue of the journal, experts set forth a new set of performance measures developed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, in collaboration with the Heart Rhythm Society, to monitor care delivered to people with the condition.

The new guidelines include the use of a point system to track those patients at highest stroke risk, prescribing blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) to cut the odds of stroke, and monitoring warfarin's effects on a monthly basis.

More information

There's more on atrial fibrillation at the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Laurent Fachier, M.D., Ph.D., professor, cardiology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Trousseau, Tours, France; Christopher Cannon, M.D., cardiologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and associate professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, both in Boston; Feb. 26, 2008, Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Type of Cholesterol-Lowering Drug Shows Promise
2. Many Patients Stop Taking Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs
3. Cholesterol-lowering drug linked to sleep disruptions
4. Free Drugs After Heart Attack Would Save Money, Lengthen Lives
5., inc. to Present at the Upcoming Jefferies 4th Annual Internet Conference and the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference
6. DNA with a twist: New company to search for cancer drugs and antibiotics
7. HIV drugs, Abacavir and Didanosine increase the risk of heart attack
8. Merck Pays More Than $400 Million to Settle Federal, State Medicaid Fraud Investigation Sparked by Qui Tam Whistleblower Case Detailing Marketing Schemes for Vioxx(R), Zocor(R), Several Other Drugs
9. UTMB wins $3.4 million federal grant to study addiction-recovery drugs
10. inc. Achieves GAAP Profitability in the Fourth Quarter of 2007
11. Blood Pressure Drugs Might Prevent Parkinsons
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs May Ease Irregular Heartbeat
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition has announced the launch of ... (MSA) research, timed today to coincide with Giving Tuesday 2015, a global day of ... to work and be productive, to do simple daily activities like walking to the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ME (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Royal ... reports a new study that found post-menopausal women who took the nutritional supplement creatine, ... than women who trained but did not take creatine. , The report is part ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... number of leadless pacemakers in the U.S. and is the only hospital in ... from the largest clinical data presentation of transcatheter pacing patients were revealed recently ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... December 1, ... expansion of the company’s growing product line of food safety and seafood fraud ... Sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka) – allow InstantLabs to offer fast, reliable species identification for ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Diabetic ... United States. Podiatrists are well aware that psychology-based patient non-compliance (disobedience of a ... catastrophic contributors to diseases of the diabetic foot. The American Board of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015   MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc . ... it has filed an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) ... the Company,s lead fully human antibody product HuMab 5B1 ... plans to initiate the Phase I clinical trial early ... --> The planned Phase I trial will evaluate ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015   Craneware, Inc ... cycle solutions, today announced the company will showcase ... ChargeLink ® solution at the American ... Clinical Meeting . The new features are focused ... of monitoring and managing enterprise-wide pharmacy charges to ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 01, 2015 ... of the "Medical Alert Systems/Personal Emergency Response ... by Geography - Global Forecas" report to ... announced the addition of the "Medical Alert ... by End-User and by Geography - Global Forecas" ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: