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Statin therapy and reduction in recurrent pulmonary embolism

13 Mar, 13 | by kuppell

A study carried out in the Netherlands suggests that statin treatment could decrease the risk of recurrent pulmonary embolism (PE) and might be an alternative to anticoagulant treatment in the long-term treatment of PE. Researchers identified patients hospitalized with an acute episode of PE between 1998 and 2008 by using data from a Dutch population-based registry of pharmacy records linked with hospital discharge records. Prescription-based use of statins and vitamin K antagonist (VKA) were identified starting at hospital discharge and during follow-up.  The researchers used Cox regression analysis to assess the incidence of recurrences, cardiovascular events and death.

The median duration of VKA treatment after acute PE was 199 (45–3793) days. Twenty-four per cent of the patients (n = 737) had at least one prescription of statins during the follow-up period and the median duration of statin therapy was 1557 (5–4055) days.

Reporting their findings in the European Heart Journal the researchers say that during a median follow-up of 1529 (1–4155) days, 285 (9.2%) patients experienced a recurrence. Treatment with statins was associated with a reduced risk of recurrent PE (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.50, 95% CI: 0.36–0.70), both during and after stopping VKA treatment. A dose–response relationship was shown for potency, with the largest reduction in those with the most potent statins. ’Statin treatment also reduced the risk for cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality’, add the researchers. Eur Heart J (2013)doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/eht046.

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