November 9, 2010

Is There a Benefit in Loading Up on Lipitor Before Bypass

Posted in New Heart Studies tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:42 am by keepyourhearthealthy

A package and pill of atorvastatin 40mg (Lipitor).

Image via Wikipedia

A new study says that people are less likely to have a heart attack if they are given high dose statins before surgery.

This new study looked at other previous studies and pulled together a pool of over 4,000 patients.  When reviewing the medicines, people who took a statin drug (used for lowering cholesterol) had significantly fewer heart attacks after their surgery.  Examples of statins include Lipitor, Zocor, simvastatin, pravastatin and lovastatin.  A statin drug is used for people with heart disease regardless of cholesterol because they significantly lower the risk of heart-related deaths.  Some scientists have suggested that statins help to reduce inflammation in addition to preventing the liver from making more cholesterol.

Based on this new study, further research may be done to see if patients should be given higher doses of statins prior to surgery.  Currently, beta-blockers are recommended peri-operatively for people at high risk of heart complications.  If the studies continue to show benefits for statins as well, a drug like Lipitor may be added to those surgical recommendations in the future!

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