Research demonstrates link between use of cholesterol-reducing drugs and decrease in incidence of cardiac arrhythmias after treatment for coronary artery disease
BOCA RATON, Fla., July 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alexander Kulik, MD, MPH, a cardiovascular surgeon and endovascular specialist at Boca Raton Community Hospital, was the lead author in a peer-reviewed paper detailing the first large-scale study of statins and their impact on atrial fibrillation. Dr. Kulik and colleagues from Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women's Hospital published their findings in the June 15 edition of the American Journal of Cardiology.
The study looked at data on over 29,000 Medicare patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction or coronary bypass during a nine-year period. The incidence of new atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart beat) was compared between those prescribed statins within a month of leaving the hospital and those who were not. Among the patients on statins, atrial fibrillation occurred in 32.6 percent of patients within 5 years and in 51.2 percent within 10 years. For patients not prescribed statins, the 5-year and 10-year incidence was 38.3 and 58.0 percent respectively.
Considerable evidence exists establishing inflammatory processes as a cause of atrial fibrillation. Statins, long a mainstay in the treatment of high cholesterol, have been shown to improve endothelial, or blood vessel, function and modulate the inflammatory response. In addition, statins also provide antisympathetic properties that can be helpful in regulating the body's internal organs, such as the electrical system of the heart.
"Our findings suggest that a decrease in the incidence of atrial fibrillation may be yet another benefit of statin use," said Dr. Kulik. 'Given their tolerability and safety, statins may also be considered as a low risk, preventive therapy for patients at high risk for the condition."
About Boca Raton Community Hospital
Born out of community need in 1967, Boca Raton Community Hospital is an advanced tertiary medical center (www.brch.com) with 400 beds and more than 700 primary and specialty physicians on staff. The hospital is a recognized leader in oncology, cardiovascular disease and surgery, minimally invasive surgery, orthopedics, women's health and emergency medicine, all of which offer state-of-the-art diagnostic and imaging capabilities. The Hospital is a Joint Commission Designated Primary Stroke Center.
SOURCE Boca Raton Community Hospital