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Posted by on Jul 9, 2016 in Coronary artery disease | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This paper looked at effect of statin treatment after heart attack in elderly patients. Patients who started statin treatment did not have differences in cognition and physical abilities compared to patients who did not start statin treatment. 

Some background

Statins are a group of drugs that work to reduce levels of cholesterol in the body. It is recommended for patients after an acute heart attack. However, older patients are commonly undertreated. Some studies report that use of statin in the elderly was associated with memory loss. However, high quality data on cognitive (ability to think) and physical side effects of statins is limited in elderly patients. 

Methods & findings

317 patients older than 65 years who had a heart attack were studied.  They were followed for 6 months. 262 patients who received statin treatment were compared to 55 patients who did not receive statin treatment.

Patients were assessed with a questionnaire that that looked at their cognitive function. A higher score indicates better cognition (the highest score being 39). The average cognition score at 1 month was 23 for those who had statin therapy compared to 22 for those who did not have statin therapy. Cognitive impairment was common, with 23% of those who received statin and 30% of those who did not receive statin having cognition scores of less than 23.

Physical activity was also measured. This was studied by measuring walking speed and hand grip strength. Physical ability improved with time after the heart attack in both groups of patients. There was no difference in amount of improvement in physical ability between those who had statin treatment and those who did not. 

The bottom line

The authors concluded that there were no side effects with regards to cognitive or physical ability in elderly patients receiving statin treatment after a heart attack

Published By :

Clinical cardiology

Date :

Jul 24, 2015

Original Title :

Cognitive and Physical Function by Statin Exposure in Elderly Individuals Following Acute Myocardial Infarction.

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