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Statins display benefits for AF patients in a large population-based study 

Presented By
Ms Jiayi Huang, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
EHRA 2023

A population-based study including over 51,000 patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) showed that statin use was linked to a lower risk of ischaemic stroke and systemic embolism and other cerebral adverse events, compared with non-use of statins.

According to Ms Jiayi Huang (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong), the literature on the influence of statin use on the risk of new-onset AF-related adverse outcomes is inconclusive. Therefore, she and her colleagues evaluated whether statin use improves health outcomes in patients with non-valvular AF without a history of stroke or related complications [1]. Of the 51,472 included patients, 11,866 received statins after their first diagnosis of AF and 39,606 were not treated with these agents. The primary endpoints included ischaemic stroke and systemic embolism, haemorrhagic stroke, and transient ischaemic attack.

After a median follow-up of 5.1 years, prior treatment with statins was linked to a lower risk of ischaemic stroke/systemic embolism than non-use of statins (sub-distribution hazard ratio [SHR] 0.83; 95% CI 0.78–0.89). Likewise, the risk for haemorrhagic stroke (SHR 0.93) and transient ischaemic attack (SHR 0.85) appeared to be lower in participants who had been treated with statins. Furthermore, long-term use of these agents (≥6 years) resulted in a significantly reduced risk of these 3 endpoints compared with short-term use of statins (3 months to <2 years), with respective SHRs of 0.57, 0.56, and 0.58.

In conclusion, the current population-based study suggests that statin use is related to a reduced risk of cerebral adverse events in patients with AF, with a more pronounced effect on long-term users of these drugs.

    1. Huang J, et al. Association between statin use and new onset atrial fibrillation-related complications: A population-based study. Late-Breaking Science Day 2, EHRA 2023, 16–18 April, Barcelona, Spain.

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