Statins are mainly praised for their cholesterol-lowering effects, which in turn cuts the risk of heart attacks and stroke. However, if administered before coronary artery bypass, statins also have the power to reduce health complications, according to a new study.
Researchers discovered that patients who take statins before and after heart bypass surgery fare a lot better in the recovery phase, with lower chances of side effects or major, life-endangering health events after the procedure.
Doctors are usually reluctant to recommend statin use for patients undergoing heart surgery due to the potential adverse side effects, but the research team believes they occur rather rarely, and that the advantages of taking statins far outweigh the possible disadvantages.
According to researcher Dr. Islam Elgendy of the University of Florida, “taking statins prior to CABG surgery can help protect patients against developing atrial fibrillation.” This complication is described as having an irregular heartbeat, a common post-op occurrence with heart surgery.
Statin drugs can also be prescribed for patients who have high production of cholesterol, but the new research found it can also be associated with a lowered risk of fatality during and immediately after surgery.
Elgendy’s team of researchers at the University of Florida collaborated with doctors from the Cleveland Clinic to analyze and review 21 previous studies. The focus was on observing and comparing adverse side effects of statins and health events in patients who did take the drugs and those who didn’t.
They noted the drugs were indeed helpful to those who took them, reducing and avoiding complications that would typically occur after heart surgery. Elgendy explained that administering statin for patients with coronary artery disease is important, both before and after surgery.
The findings that turned out in the review call for health campaigns and other active efforts to educate and counsel both patients and surgeons about statins and their benefits. Elgendy’s team is convinced the advantages are more prevalent than the risk of rare potential side effects.
However, finding the ideal statin dosage for cardiac patients requires further research, as well as discovering the potentially negative effects of the drugs.
The new study seems to prove that statins are linked to a lesser chance of stroke, heart attack, and kidney problems, but according to Dr. Amir Barakat of the Cleveland Clinic – who was not involved in the study – there is still much work to be done the statins’ preventative effects.
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