Taking statins pre- and post-coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery, can help decrease cardiac complications and risk of death during and after surgery, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation reported. Their findings are published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Statins have demonstrated an anti-inflammatory role beyond lowering lipid levels. However, statins tend to be underused in the population undergoing CABG because preoperative discontinuation remains a common medical practice.

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For the study, researchers looked at statin use before and after surgery to assess its impact on patient outcomes. Upon review of related articles, they found that taking statins prior to CABG surgery could help prevent atrial fibrillation. Statin use was also linked to a lower risk of death both during and immediately post-surgery. In addition, statin use prior to surgery was well-tolerated by patients and the risk of adverse events was low compared to the potential benefits. 

Amr F. Barakat, MD, the study’s author, noted that additional research is required to determine an optimal statin dose and duration, and its potential impact in other areas. More studies are needed to establish the benefits of statins in reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, or renal problems post-surgery, they concluded.

For more information visit annalsthoracicsurgery.org.