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Statins May Worsen Symptoms In Some Cardiac Patients

According to a new study presented at CHEST 2009, the annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), statins, which are widely used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular disorders, may actually have negative effects on some cardiac patients. 

The researchers reviewed the charts of 136 patients with heart failure in order to examine the effect of statins on pulmonary function and exercise tolerance in patients with diastolic heart failure vs. systolic heart failure.  A non-statin group of 75 patients was compared with a statin group of 61 patients.

Results of the analysis showed that overall pulmonary function and exercise tolerance of patients in the statin group were significantly lower than patients in the non-statin group. Further subgroup analyses revealed that pulmonary function measures in the diastolic heart failure statin group were 12 percent lower than pulmonary function measures in the diastolic heart failure non-statin group.  Furthermore, the amount of exercise performed by patients with diastolic heart failure who were on a statin was almost 50 percent less than patients with diastolic heart failure not on a statin.

The researchers concluded that statins have beneficial effects on patients with systolic heart failure, however, statins may actually worsen symptoms in patients with diastolic heart failure.

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