Statins may have negative effect on some cardiac patients

Statins may have negative effects on some cardiac patients, according to a study presented at CHEST 2009.

Statins may have negative effects on some cardiac patients, according to a study presented at CHEST 2009, the 75th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.

ScienceDaily reported that the study found that statins have beneficial effects on patients with systolic heart failure (SHF), but those with diastolic heart failure (DHF) experienced the opposite effect, including increased dyspnea, fatigue, and decreased exercise tolerance.

Researchers from Northeastern University and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, retrospectively reviewed the charts of 136 patients with heart failure in order to examine the effect of statins on pulmonary function (PF) and exercise tolerance (ET) in patients with DHF vs. SHF. A non-statin group (82% of patients had DHF) of 75 patients was compared with a statin group (72% of patients had DHF) of 61 patients. Atrovastatin was prescribed in 75% of the patients on statins.

The study showed that overall PF and ET of patients in the statin group were significantly lower than patients in the non-statin group. Further subgroup analyses revealed that PF measures in the DHF statin group were 12% lower than PF measures in the DHF non-statin group.

Although the new data suggest that statins may actually worsen symptoms in patients with DHF, researchers believe that the benefit of using statins in patients with SHF and DHF outweigh the risks.