Doubts over use of rosuvastatin in HF

A statin fails to prevent cardiovascular death in elderly patients with heart failure, say Swedish scientists.

In a trial presented at the American Heart Association scientific sessions in Orlando, Florida, researchers said they failed to find an improvement in cardiovascular death rates among patients over 60 with systolic or ischaemic heart failure when given rosuvastatin.

In the study, 5,011 patients with moderate to severe heart failure were assigned rosuvastatin 10mg or placebo.

A reduction in cardiovascular events of 16 per cent was expected, said lead researcher Professor Ake Hjalmarson from the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Goteborg.

A mean follow-up of two years and nine months found the rate of cardiovascular events was lowered by just 8 per cent.

But the number of hospitalisations for cardiovascular events in those given rosuvastatin was lower than in the placebo group.

It may be that rosuvastatin reduces acute atherothrombotic events in elderly heart failure patients, but has no effect on death rates in this group because this is primarily triggered by an electrical event related to ventricular dilatation and scarring, said Professor Hjalmarson.

Elisabeth Bjork, Astra Zeneca's global medical science director for rosuvastatin, said: 'The study included patients with advanced heart failure on optimal treatment who were not candidates for statin therapy.'

AHA scientific sessions 4-7 November 2007, Orlando, Florida

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