Want To Live Longer After Heart Surgery? Continue Using Statin Says New Research

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According to a new study, patients who are taking statins should not discontinue its consumption even on the day of their heart surgery. The study suggests that regular intake improves survival post surgery.

Dr. Wei Pan, who is a cardiac specialist practicing at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, along with his associates conducted a research on the effects of statins on the human body.

For the unfamiliar, statins are widely used by doctors as medication for patients suffering from high cholesterol, and who would need a coronary surgery.

The Research

The team examined the records of nearly 3,025 patients who had a coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). This was conducted between July 2005 and May 2011 at the Texas Heart Institute and some of its subsidiaries.

For patients who were admitted to the hospital just prior to surgery, the researchers studied the medication pattern and dosage of statin administered preoperatively. For inpatients, the reports from the nursing administration gave the researchers complete data on the statin administration.

Analysis Of The Research

The investigators found that out of the 59 percent patients who had consumed statins 24 hours or less prior to their surgery, only 1.7 percent died from some complications that arose within one month of the surgery.

For patients who consumed the medicine 24 to 72 hours before the surgery, the same mortality rate increased to 2.9 percent. For those who did not consumer statins or took it more than 72 hours prior to their surgery, the death rate was around 3.8 percent.

“Patients frequently forget to take their pills on the day of surgery, or they’ve been told to stop certain medications, this study shows that not taking your statin for even 1 day before cardiac surgery may increase your risk of death after surgery,” said Dr. Pan.

Previous reports have shown that the intake of statin before the surgery is not harmful and often counters the negative after-effects of the surgery.

The researchers also studied the dosage to deduce if the quantity of statins a patient consumed majorly impacted the surgery’s aftermath. For this section of the research, the team analyzed the details of 2,943 patients who had the required CABG operation and had entire statin dosage records.

In this research of a partiality-coordinated group, researchers established that before operation, a prescribed amount of more than 20 mg was linked with a 68 percent decrease in mortality chances within 30 days of the surgery, compared to no preoperative statin. Moreover, a preoperative amount of about 20 mg demonstrated no mortality decline.

The researchers now want to study the effects of statin intake prior to other kinds of heart surgeries, apart from CABG. They are attempting to perform a detailed research on the usage of this medication.

The study has been published in The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Photo: Nicholas Raymond | Flickr

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