Heart attack patients who stop statin risk death, say researchers

August 27, 2008,

Patients discontinuing statin medication following an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) increase their risk of dying over the next year, say researchers at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). Their study was published in a recent issue of the European Heart Journal.

Using data on British patients who survived an AMI and were still alive three months later, Dr. Stella Daskalopoulou and colleagues found that those who discontinued their statin medication were 88% more likely to die during the following year compared to those who had never been on the medication.

"Statins were found to be beneficial drugs," said Dr. Daskalopoulou, of McGill's Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Medicine and the Division of Clinical Epidemiology at the MUHC. "Patients who used statins before an AMI and continued to take them after were 16% less likely to die over the next year than those who never used them. So even if it appears that the statins failed to prevent your AMI, it is beneficial to continue taking them and potentially quite harmful to stop."

The large, population-based cohort study was conducted using UK data to take advantage of the medical records kept in the General Practice Research Database (GPRD), which collects information on the health of more than three million patients across the UK.

"In the general population the statin discontinuation rate within the first year of prescription is 30 percent. That's very high," Dr. Daskalopoulou continued. "Because statins are preventative drugs, patients may not feel the immediate benefit of taking them and sometimes stop. However, it looks like this might be quite a dangerous practice after an AMI."

The harmful effects of statin discontinuation may be the result of many different mechanisms, including individual patient characteristics, the researchers explained. "Regardless of the mechanism or explanation, physicians should be careful when assessing each patient's medication needs," Dr. Daskalopoulou said. "Patients also need to take their medications exactly as prescribed after an AMI. Statins in particular should only be withdrawn after an AMI under close clinical supervision."

Source: McGill University

Explore further: Nonadherence to statins plus ACEIs/ARBs risky post MI

Related Stories

Nonadherence to statins plus ACEIs/ARBs risky post MI

September 23, 2017
(HealthDay)—Nonadherence to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and/or statins following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is associated with higher mortality, according ...

Discontinuing statins for patients with life limiting illness

March 23, 2015
Discontinuing statin use in patients with late-stage cancer and other terminal illnesses may help improve patients' quality of life without causing other adverse health effects, according to a new study by led by researchers ...

Diabetic stroke risk after AMI drops in 10 year period

September 1, 2013
The risk of ischemic stroke after acute myocardial infarction in diabetics has dropped over a 10 year period, according to a study of more than 173,000 AMI patients in the Swedish RIKS-HIA register.

Ten year decline in ischemic stroke after AMI

August 28, 2012
The analysis of data from two Swedish registries was presented by Dr Anders Ulvenstam, and suggests that the reduction is due to improvements in AMI care.

n-3 PUFA tx after AMI linked to drop in death, recurrent AMI

January 28, 2016
(HealthDay)—For patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the use of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is associated with reduced risk of all-cause mortality and recurrent AMI through 12-month ...

Treatment of heart attack patients depends on history of cancer

September 20, 2017
Treatment of heart attack patients depends on their history of cancer, according to research published today in European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care. The study in more than 35 000 heart attack patients found ...

Recommended for you

Ambitious global virome project could mark end of pandemic era

February 23, 2018
Rather than wait for viruses like Ebola, SARS and Zika to become outbreaks that force the world to react, a new global initiative seeks to proactively identify, prepare for and stop viral threats before they become pandemics.

Forecasting antibiotic resistance with a 'weather map' of local data

February 23, 2018
The resistance that infectious microbes have to antibiotics makes it difficult for physicians to confidently select the right drug to treat an infection. And that resistance is dynamic: It changes from year to year and varies ...

Scientists gain new insight on how antibodies interact with widespread respiratory virus

February 22, 2018
Scientists have found and characterized the activity of four antibodies produced by the human immune system that target an important protein found in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to new research published ...

Study reveals how kidney disease happens

February 22, 2018
Monash researchers have solved a mystery, revealing how certain immune cells work together to instigate autoimmune kidney disease.

Past encounters with the flu shape vaccine response

February 20, 2018
New research on why the influenza vaccine was only modestly effective in recent years shows that immune history with the flu influences a person's response to the vaccine.

Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis

February 16, 2018
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.