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Statins for Primary Prevention Don't Reduce Mortality

Statin therapy reduces events, but not mortality, in patients without cardiovascular disease

MONDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Although statin therapy decreases major coronary and cerebrovascular events and revascularization procedures, it does not decrease all-cause mortality or death due to coronary heart disease in patients who do not have cardiovascular disease, according to study results published in the Nov. 27 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Paaladinesh Thavendiranathan, M.D., of the University of Toronto in Canada, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of seven randomized clinical trials that included 42,848 patients. Ninety percent of the subjects had no cardiovascular disease when statin therapy was initiated.

Statin treatment reduced the risk of major coronary events by 29.2 percent, major cerebrovascular events by 14.4 percent and revascularization procedures by 33.8 percent. Their use had a non-significant effect (22.6 percent reduction) in relative risk for coronary heart disease mortality. There was no significant reduction in overall death. No increases in cancer, liver enzymes levels or creatine kinase were reported.

"In patients without cardiovascular disease, statin therapy decreases the incidence of major coronary and cerebrovascular events and revascularizations but not coronary heart disease or overall mortality," the authors conclude.

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