Statins used pre post heart bypass surgery may benefit patients, concludes a recent review of 21 studies and published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery journal.
There are medications which may interfere with good outcomes of a coronary artery bypass surgery. As such, the common practice is to ask patients undergoing heart bypass surgery to discontinue the use of some medications prior to the surgical procedure. The guidelines typically received by patients also require the discontinuation of medication following the coronary artery bypass. However, the review, led by Doctor Amr F. Baraka with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that statins used pre post heart bypass surgery may benefit patients rather than hinder the outcomes of heart bypass surgery.
Contrary to the commonly held idea that statin use before and after the surgical procedure may have adverse effects on health, the new study found that statins reduce complications associated with heart bypass surgery as well as death risk.
According to the review findings, a cohort of studies found that the use of statins before and after coronary artery bypass surgery decreased the risk of irregular heart rhythms. In addition, it reduced the risk of atrial fibrillation, stroke incidence, heart attack incidence, as well as postoperative kidney complications.
It remains unclear how the use of statins affects these aspects. However, heart bypass surgery increases the risk of inflammation at a considerable rate. Statins may thus be a powerful tool in controlling inflammation. Doctor Islam Y.Elgendy with the University of Florida College of Medicine and senior author of the study declared that the findings imply that:
“It’s important to be on a statin if you have coronary artery disease, and to continue with the medicine before and after surgery”.
Against this background, it remains of paramount importance to educate both patients and surgeons on the benefits of statins compared to their adverse effects. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28 percent of Americans above 40 years old use cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statins represent the largest proportion of these, with 90 percent.
Coronary artery bypass surgery leads to inflammation and a host of other complications. Statins may reduce the risks of several complications, by actively fighting inflammation. However, it remains unclear what the optimal dosage for patients undergoing heart bypass surgery is.
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