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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Strong statins better after heart attack

Friday February 21st, 2014

New high potency statins may provide improved protection for patients against heart disease, researchers say today.

Patients who take the high-potency statins after heart attack have a significantly higher chance of survival compared with those who are administered normal strength statins, according to a new study.

Research carried out by the University of Dundee, Scotland, found that patients who switched to a high-potency statin had a 28% lower risk of death compared to those who received simvastatin.

Although there was no observed benefit of adding ezetimibe, says Professor Chim Lang, from the Division of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Medicine at the University of Dundee Medical School, more research on that particular area is needed.

“Ezetimibe has been shown to be very effective at lowering cholesterol but we do not know its effect on survival,” he says. “The key question really is whether it is better than statins, especially high potency statins such as rosuvastatin or atorvastatin.

“What our study has showed, looking at the data from thousands of patients in the UK, is that patients who switched from normal statin treatment to high potency statins lived longer.

“For the moment, the data supports the use of high potency statins, one of which, atorvastatin, is now off patent, and is cheap and effective.”

Data from the study were drawn from the UK’s Clinical Practice Research Datalink and the results are published online in Heart.

Researchers sought out data for patients who: had survived 30 days after their first heart attack, had not received prior statin or ezetimibe therapy, and who were started on a statin within that period of their attack.

The data from 9,597 patients were used. 6,990 were treated with simvastatin, 1,883 had switched to a more potent statin, while 724 were given an ezetimibe and statin. The cohort was followed for an average 3.2 years from when they had their heart attack.

Over that time period, 1,134 people died but the researchers found that patients who switched to a stronger statin benefited.

Heart 20 February 2014

Tags: Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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