Early Statin Therapy Does Not Cut Death Risk After ACS

Statins given in first two weeks do not substantially lower risk for four-month period

WEDNESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with statins less than two weeks after the onset of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) does not significantly cut the risk of death, stroke or another heart attack within four months, according to a meta-analysis published in the May 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Matthias Briel, M.D., of the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, and colleagues analyzed 12 randomized, controlled studies on the short-term effects of early statin treatment on death, myocardial infarction and stroke in 13,024 patients with ACS. The studies all had a follow-up period of at least 30 days and compared early statin use with placebo or usual care.

The researchers found that statins administered soon after the onset of ACS did not significantly lower the risk of death, stroke or further heart attacks for up to four months.

"However, early statin therapy may reduce the occurrence of unstable angina at four months after the onset of ACS, while serious adverse events associated with early initiation of statins are rare," the authors write.

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