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Statins May Help Older Women Control Irregular Heartbeat
Date:5/15/2008

tudy was 65 percent lower among women taking statins. The risk of developing atrial fibrillation during the study period was 55 percent lower in the statin group, the researchers found.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said: "Statins aren't anti-arrhythmic, but they are definitely one of the medications that can be used adjunctively to treat and prevent atrial fibrillation. Trials like this remind us that statins do a lot more than decrease cholesterol. They have this anti-inflammatory component, and when you see a study like this that shows such a decreased incidence of atrial fibrillation, you have to assume that it's through that anti-inflammatory pathway. This is pretty compelling."

Other research being presented at the meeting found no association between the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin E and atrial fibrillation in women.

The first study, by researchers at Northwestern University, involved 46,704 women participating in the Women's Health Initiative who completed questionnaires about their intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

The second study looked at 38,933 healthy women over the age of 45 who had been randomly selected to receive either vitamin E or a placebo. The study, which lasted for about a decade, was conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

More information

Visit the American Heart Association for more on women and heart disease.



SOURCES: Cara Pellegrini, M.D., electrophysiology fellow, University of California, San Francisco; Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., director, Women and Heart Disease, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; May 15, 2008, presentations, Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting, San Francisco


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