Statins could reduce the risk of thromboembolism

Possible role for statins in preventing blood clots.

Taking statins could help to significantly reduce the risk of developing DVT, US researchers have claimed.

The findings, presented earlier this week at the annual CHEST conference in Philadelphia, are the first to show that statins can play a role in preventing blood clots.

For the study, the researchers evaluated the influence of statins on the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE), such as DVT and pulmonary embolism, in 740 patients.

The patients, whose average age was 65, had all been admitted to hospital between October 2004 and September 2007 with a diagnosis of cancer.

The occurrence of VTE, risk factors for VTE and the use of statins were all recorded.

Patients who had never used statins were allocated to a control group.

A total of 26 per cent of the patients had received statins, and the overall incidence of VTE was 18 per cent. After adjusting for other risk factors, the researchers found that just 8 per cent of the patients who were taking statins developed VTE compared with 21 per cent in the control group.

Lead researcher Dr Danai Khemasuwan, from the Albert Einstein medical centre in Philadelphia, said: 'The results of our research are interesting and thought provoking.

'We hope that our research alerts the scientific community to the potential of statins in reducing VTE.'

But Dr Khemasuwan warned that it was too early to draw conclusions about the cause and effect relationship between statins and VTE, and said that further studies would be needed.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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