Statins decrease risk of clot-related diseases

May 16, 2010

Individuals at risk for clot-related diseases may benefit from taking common cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut.

The results of the study will be presented at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans.

"Previous clinical studies have indicated statins may play a role in lowering the risk of these conditions, but these studies have yielded variable estimates of the effect of statin therapy," said lead author Vanjul Agarwal, M.B.B.S. "In our study, we aimed to analyze and evaluate the effect of these drugs in patients with specific conditions related to vessel blockages."

While other studies have focused on the effects of specific statin drugs, Dr. Agarwal said the current analysis sought to evaluate the effect of statins as a whole. Researchers reviewed the results of 10 studies of more than 900,000 men and women evaluating the effect of statins in preventing venous thromboembolism (VTE), clots formed in the deep veins which pose a serious risk for and stroke. Dr. Agarwal noted that the current study included all types of VTE, with a focus on deep vein (DVT), most commonly involving clots in the lower legs, and (PE), clots that form in the primary vessels of the lungs after migrating from other areas of the body, usually the legs, pelvis or, rarely, arms. According to study results, statin use benefited patients with all types of VTE, including DVT and PE.

Both PE and DVT can be asymptomatic and therefore difficult to detect, or easy to misdiagnose. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 200,000 to 400,000 people in the U.S. have DVT and about 100,000 to 200,000 people have a PE. Nearly one-third of individuals with a PE die as a result of the condition.

Dr. Agarwal said statins are believed to decrease the risk of VTE by reducing , one of the factors involved in clot formation. "Statins have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Since thrombus formation involves inflammation, statins may reduce venous thrombus formation and thus, lower the odds of developing PE/DVT," she said.

Dr. Agarwal noted future randomized, controlled trials may help determine a course of statin therapy for patients most at risk for developing VTE.

"Patients at high risk for developing PE or DVT may be prescribed statins prophylactically," she said. "In these patients, regular use of could significantly reduce the incidence of PE and DVT."

Explore further: Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Statins alter prostate cancer patients' PSA levels

Apr 28, 2009

Beyond lowering cholesterol, statin medications have been found to have numerous other health benefits, including lowering a healthy man's risk of developing advanced prostate cancer, as well as lowering his prostate-specific ...

Ultrasound waves aid in rapid treatment of DVT

Nov 23, 2008

The use of ultrasound waves for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may help dissolve blood clots in less time than using clot-busting drugs alone, according to researchers at Emory University. The study will be presented Sunday, ...

Recommended for you

Ebola expert calls for European anti-virus 'corps'

17 hours ago

Europe will be "vulnerable" if it does not regard viruses as a "national security issue" like the United States, the microbiologist who discovered Ebola said in an interview published Friday.

In Liberia, Ebola steals Christmas

17 hours ago

The Ebola epidemic has cast a dark shadow over Christmas this year in Liberia, where small businesses are especially feeling the pinch.

Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears

Dec 25, 2014

A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. The recall comes after at least three deaths and at least 29 illnesses in 10 states ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

JerryPark
not rated yet May 16, 2010
The drug companies keep trying to justify the use of this highest money making drug in history. There is no study which has shown that cholesterol reduction extends life, so they focus on statins' ability to lower inflammation.

Of course, simple aspirin can do that at nearly zero cost and without the risk of rhabdomyolysis. There are doubtless thousands of drugs safer and more effective in reducing inflammation than statins.

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.