Do statins as primary prevention really reduce risk of mortality?

January 01, 0001

Do statins as primary prevention really reduce risk of mortality?

It remains uncertain whether statins have mortality benefit in a high-risk primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The objective of these UK authors was to reliably determine if statin therapy reduces all-cause mortality among intermediate to high-risk individuals without a history of CVD. They conducted a meta-analysis of prospective, randomized controlled trials to that end.

They found: "Data were combined from 11 studies and effect estimates were pooled using a random-effects model meta-analysis, with heterogeneity assessed with the I2 statistic. Data were available on 65,229 participants followed for approximately 244,000 person-years, during which 2793 deaths occurred. The use of statins in this high-risk primary prevention setting was not associated with a statistically significant reduction (risk ratio, 0.91) in the risk of all-cause mortality. There was no statistical evidence of heterogeneity among studies (I2 = 23)."

The authors concluded: "This literature-based meta-analysis did not find evidence for the benefit of statin therapy on all-cause mortality in a high-risk primary prevention set-up."

We should know that evidence to support the widespread use of statins for primary prevention is weak.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Intern Med 170(12):1024-1031, 28 June 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Association
Statins and All-Cause Mortality in High-Risk Primary Prevention-A Meta-analysis of 11 Randomized Controlled Trials Involving 65,229 Participants. Kausik K. Ray, Sreenivasa Rao Kondapally Seshasai, Sebhat Erqou, et al. Correspondence to Dr. Ray: [email protected]

Category: K. Circulatory. Keywords: statins, primary prevention, cardiovascular disease, mortality, meta- analysis of randomized trials, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 13 July 2010

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