Prescribing Statins for Patients With ACS? No Need to Wait

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Benefits might vary with ­different statins
The studies evaluated in this ­meta-analysis used various statins and dosing regimens, which could have affected the results. However, sensitivity analyses found similar benefits across different types of statins. In addition, most of the included trials used high doses of statins, which minimized the potential discrepancy in outcomes from various dosing regimens. And while the included studies were not perfect, Navarese et al1 used reasonable methods to identify potential biases.

No barriers to earlier start
Implementing this intervention may be as simple as editing a standard order. This meta-analysis also suggests that the earlier the intervention, the greater the benefit, which may be an argument for starting a statin when a patient first presents for evaluation for ACS, since the associated risks are quite low. We believe it would be beneficial if the next update of the ACC/AHA guidelines7 included this recommendation.

1. Navarese EP, Kowalewski M, Andreotti F, et al. Meta-analysis of time-related benefits of statin therapy in patients with acute coronary syndrome undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. Am J Cardiol. 2014;113:1753-1764.
2. Pignone M, Phillips C, Mulrow C. Use of lipid lowering drugs for primary prevention of coronary heart disease: meta-analysis of randomised trials. BMJ. 2000;321:983-986.
3. The Long-Term Intervention with Pravastatin in Ischaemic Disease (LIPID) Study Group. Prevention of cardiovascular events and death with pravastatin in patients with coronary heart disease and a broad range of initial cholesterol levels. N Engl J Med. 1998;339:1349-1357.
4. Liao JK. Beyond lipid lowering: the role of statins in vascular protection. Int J Cardiol. 2002;86:5-18.
5. Li J, Li JJ, He JG, et al. Atorvastatin decreases C-reactive protein-induced inflammatory response in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells by inhibiting nuclear factor-kappaB pathway. Cardiovasc Ther. 2010;28:8-14.
6. Tandon V, Bano G, Khajuria V, et al. Pleiotropic effects of statins. Indian J Pharmacol. 2005; 37:77-85.
7. Wright RS, Anderson JL, Adams CD, et al; American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. 2011 ACCF/AHA focused update incorporated into the ACC/AHA 2007 Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Unstable Angina/Non-ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physicians, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57: e215-e367.

The PURLs Surveillance System was supported in part by Grant Number UL1RR024999 from the National Center For Research Resources, a Clinical Translational Science Award to the University of Chicago. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center For Research Resources or the National Institutes of Health.

Copyright © 2014. The Family Physicians Inquiries Network. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from the Family Physicians Inquiries Network and The Journal of Family Practice. 2014;63(12):735, 738.

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