Chance of surviving a heart attack can be significantly improved by treatment with high-potency statins compared to those taking normal statins, suggests a study.
Patients who switched to a high-potency statin had a 28 percent lower risk of death compared to those who received normal statins.
The study, led by the University of Dundee, also found a combination of statins and the drug ezetimibe showed no improved survival rate.
"There is presently a lot of interest in ezetimibe as a potential treatment for heart patients," said Professor Chim Lang from University of Dundee in Scotland.
"The key question really is whether it is better than statins, especially high-potency statins such as rosuvastatin or atorvastatin," said Lang.
The study, looking at the data from thousands of patients in Britain, showed that patients who switched from normal statin treatment to high potency statins lived longer.
There was no observed benefit of adding ezetimibe.
"Those who had ezetimibe added did not appear to have a better outcome. So for the moment, the data supports the use of high-potency statins and one of which, atorvastatin, is now off patent and is cheap and effective," said Lang.
Researchers looked at the data for patients who had survived 30 days after their first heart attack, who had not received prior statin or ezetimibe therapy, and who were started on a statin within that period of their attack.
The results were published in the journal Heart.