Statins reduce deaths from infection and respiratory illness, eight years on from trial
The death rate among patients prescribed a statin in a major trial that ended in 2003 is still lower than those given a placebo, even though most participants in both groups have been taking statins ever since. ASCOT, the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial, was stopped early because the statin was so effective at preventing heart attacks and strokes, but a new analysis has shown that eight years on, the most significant difference between the groups is a reduction in deaths from infection and respiratory illness.
The latest findings, from researchers at Imperial College London, were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris today and simultaneously published in the European Heart Journal.
In the lipid-lowering arm of the trial, over 10,000 patients in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia with high blood pressure were randomly allocated either atorvastatin or placebo between 1998 and 2000. In 2003, the trial was stopped early because the statin proved to be highly beneficial in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Since then, most participants from both groups have been taking statins.
The new analysis looked at the number and cause of deaths among the 4,605 participants in the ASCOT trial who are based in the UK. After 11 years' follow-up, overall mortality is 14 per cent lower in the group originally assigned atorvastatin, due largely to fewer deaths from infection and respiratory illness.
"This result is very unexpected," said Professor Peter Sever, from the International Centre for Circulatory Health at Imperial College London, who led the study. "The benefits of statins for preventing heart attacks and strokes are well-established, but after long-term follow-up the most significant effects seem to be on deaths from other causes. It's quite remarkable that there is still this difference between the two groups, eight years after the trial finished.
"Some studies have suggested that statins protect people against death from infectious diseases such as pneumonia. More research is needed to explain how these drugs might have unforeseen actions that prevent deaths from other illnesses."
Amongst UK participants, in the 11 years since the trial began, 460 of the original statin group have died, compared with 520 of the placebo group. The difference is largely explained by a 36 per cent reduction in deaths from infection and respiratory illness. Deaths from cardiovascular disease were also lower in the original statin group, but the difference was not statistically significant. There was no difference in deaths from cancer.
The initial results of the ASCOT lipid arm had a major influence on subsequent guidelines recommending the use of statins for people at risk of heart disease, including those produced by NICE in the UK. Another arm of the trial comparing different combinations of blood pressure-lowering drugs also had an important impact on clinical practice.
More information: P.S. Sever et al. 'The Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial: 11 year mortality follow-up of the lipid-lowering arm in the UK.' European Heart Journal, August 28 2011.
Provided by Imperial College London
- Statins shown to lower blood pressure Apr 14, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Report examines whether statins prevent death in high-risk individuals without heart disease Jun 28, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Pneumonia death rate lower among people who take statins Apr 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Higher cholesterol raises risk of fatal heart attacks Nov 30, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Statins do not protect patients against risk of colorectal adenoma Apr 19, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Relating physics forces and entropy
1 hour ago Consider proton and electron are seperated in space at some finite distance.Now suppose they released then the decrease in potential energy equals...
Force Between Two Concentric Solenoids
5 hours ago Imagine a finite length solenoid with outer radius R1 and inner radius R2. This solenoid has a time-varying current going though it. This solenoid is...
Synchrotron, question about insertion devices and electron velocity
5 hours ago When an electron enters an insertion device (wiggler and undulator) from the storage ring in a synchrotron the tangential velocity is equal to the...
Equating differentials => equating coefficients
7 hours ago Hi all, In thermodynamics one often has equations like A dx + B dy = ∂f/∂x dx + ∂f/∂y dy From which follows A = ∂f/∂x B = ∂f/∂y
The idea behind a reverse shock
13 hours ago So in a supernova explosion for example (5th slide) http://www.astro.princeton.edu/~burrows/classes/541/blastwavesChisari.pdf Ambient medium is...
Guass's Law for a charge distribution
13 hours ago First, this is not a homework question, just something I've been confused about for some time. I understand how to use Guass's law in many ways but...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
Cardiology 18 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 1
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...
Cardiology 18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
Cardiology 18 hours ago | 5 / 5 (5) | 5
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is effective and safe in Asian patients, according to early experience based on first results from a multicentre Asian registry reported at EuroPCR 2013.
Cardiology May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Routinely measuring fractional flow reserve (FFR) using pressure wire assessment during coronary angiography for diagnosis of chest pain leads to significant changes in the management of one in four patients, according to ...
Cardiology May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Animals make great companions for senior citizens, but elderly people who always drive with a pet in the car are far more likely to crash than those who never drive with a pet, researchers have ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
May 20, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (31) | 9 |
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
May 22, 2013 | 5 / 5 (4) | 6 |
Salamanders' immune systems are key to their remarkable ability to regrow limbs, and could also underpin their ability to regenerate spinal cords, brain tissue and even parts of their hearts, scientists have ...
May 20, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 5 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
May 24, 2013 | 4 / 5 (4) | 4 |