Statins Found to Be Beneficial in Congestive Heart Failure

Drug class improves left ventricular ejection fraction and reduces hospitalization risk
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with heart failure, statins are safe, improve left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), and decrease the risk of hospitalization for worsening heart failure, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Michael J. Lipinski, M.D., of the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 10 studies involving 10,192 patients, including three studies randomizing patients to rosuvastatin, one to simvastatin and six to atorvastatin.

Overall, the researchers found that statin use was associated with a 4.2 percent increase in LVEF and a 33 percent decreased risk of hospitalization for worsening heart failure, but had no effect on all-cause or cardiovascular mortality. Post hoc analyses showed that statins had differential effects, with atorvastatin associated with decreased all-cause mortality and hospitalization for worsening heart failure (odds ratios, 0.39 and 0.30, respectively), atorvastatin and simvastatin associated with increased LVEF, and rosuvastatin not associated with these benefits.

"Overall pooling can be fraught with significant heterogeneity and inconsistency and should thus be viewed with caution and as hypothesis-generating," the authors write. "These findings suggest a lack of a class effect for statin therapy in heart failure, raising the question of whether a large prospective trial is needed to evaluate the impact of lipophilic statins on outcome in patients with heart failure."

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