Do Statins Improve Outcomes in Heart Failure Patients?

A total of 24 randomized clinical trials evaluated the effects of statins in heart failure
A total of 24 randomized clinical trials evaluated the effects of statins in heart failure

In patients with heart failure (HF), the use of statins does not reduce sudden cardiac death or all-cause mortality but may slightly reduce hospitalization for worsening HF. The full findings from this meta-analysis are published in PLOS One.

Previous studies have been inconsistent regarding the benefits of statins in HF patients. Researchers from Switzerland and France aimed to identify and evaluate the available data that compares the efficacy of statins in clinical outcomes for HF patients. They searched for published literature and ongoing trials through April 28, 2016. 

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A total of 24 randomized clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of statins in HF were identified and combined in a meta-analysis; sudden cardiac death, all-cause mortality, and hospitalization for worsening HF were the pre-specified outcomes. 

The analysis indicated no reduction of sudden cardiac death events in HF patients (relative risk [RR] 0.92, 95% CI: 0.70–1.21) or in all-cause mortality (RR 0.88, 95% CI: 0.75–1.02) with the use of statins. However, statins were found to significantly reduced hospitalization for worsening HF though it was modest (RR 0.79, 95% CI: 0.66–094). "An important finding was the possible presence of publication bias, small-study effects and heterogeneity of the trials conducted in HF patients," the authors noted.

Findings from this analysis support the 2013 ACCF/AHA guidelines, which recommend against prescribing statins in "only" HF patients, which should help avoid unnecessary polypharmacy, concluded the researchers.

For more information visit journals.plos.org.