Sunday, September 19, 2010

Statins before surgery can lower heart-attack risk (USA)

Statins before surgery can lower heart-attack risk (USA)Cardiologists at the University of Florida's medical college have found that giving patients cholesterol-lowering statins before surgery and other invasive procedures can cut their risk of heart attacks, death and other complications by almost half, according to a new report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. "The magnitude of benefit we found in terms of reducing mortality, post-procedure myocardial infarctions and reduction in atrial fibrillation after bypass surgery is really quite large," said Dr. David Winchester, a cardiologist at UF's College of Medicine. "If you look at some of the other interventions we use, such as using beta blockers before surgery, you don't get nearly the kind of benefit that we are seeing with using statins prior to procedures. That is very surprising." They found that patients who took the therapy before surgery had a 43 percent lower risk of heart attack and 46 percent lower risk of atrial fibrillation. Post-surgery death rates were lower by 34 percent. Beneficial effects were seen when statins were administered as little as one day before surgery

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