Pre-op statins cut death rates

Patients are 43 per cent less likely to die following surgery for heart disease if they have been taking statins, according to German researchers.

A meta-analysis of 19 studies was conducted involving a total of 31,725 patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Of these, 54.2 per cent, were receiving statins up to 60 days before surgery. The remaining patients did not receive any statins.

The main outcomes measured by the analysis were mortality, myocardial infarction, AF, stroke and renal failure.

Patients taking statins before surgery were 43 per cent less likely to die in the first 30 days after surgery than patients who were not given statins.

This means that for every 67 patients treated with statins, one death after cardiac surgery would be avoided.

Statin use also lowered the risk of AF by 33 per cent and stroke by 26 per cent, compared with those not given statins.

But statin use failed to lower the risk of MI or renal failure.

Lead researcher Dr Oliver Liakopoulos, from the heart centre at the University Hospital of Cologne, said that the study findings suggest significant benefits on early post-operative outcomes in patients pre-treated with statins.

Eur Heart J Online 2008

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