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Patients Taken Off Statins Can Be Re-Challenged With Success

Study finds halting therapy could lead to many preventable cardiovascular events

Patients Taken Off Statins Can Be Re-Challenged With Success

TUESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients who reported statin-related clinical events that resulted in statins being discontinued can often be re-challenged, and they can often tolerate the same or different statins long-term, according to research published in the April 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Huabing Zhang, M.D., of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine the role of statin-related clinical events in discontinuing statins in routine clinical care.

According to the researchers, among the 107,835 patients examined, statin-related clinical events were noted in 18,778 (17.4 percent) of patients. Of the patients who had statin-related events, 11,124 (59.2 percent) had the statin discontinued temporarily. Another 6,579 patients were re-challenged with a statin within 12 months, and 90 percent of them were still receiving a statin 12 months after the initial statin-related event. Among the re-challenged patients, 2,721 patients were re-challenged with the same statin, 1,295 patients remained on the same statin, and 996 patients were receiving either the same or a higher dose of statin.

"Our findings indicate that patients who had statin-related clinical events may frequently be able to tolerate statins in the long-term. Permanent cessation of statin therapy under these circumstances could lead to many preventable cardiovascular events and deaths," the authors write. "Providers should consider re-challenging patients who report statin-related events to identify those who can continue taking them."

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