Statin Therapy Beneficial for Elderly Patients with Nonischemic Dilated Cardiomyopathy

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LAS VEGAS—At the 2004 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society, a study was presented on the effect of statin therapy on elderly patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. The results showed that these patients had lower morbidity and mortality rates when treated with statins.

All patients enrolled in the Geriatrics and Heart Failure Clinics of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and affiliated hospitals from January 1998 to December 2000 were screened (N = 901). Those patients without any evidence of myocardial ischemia were enrolled in the study (n = 137). Outcome data were collected for a period of 2 years and analyzed for differences between the control group (n = 105) and the statin-tested group (n = 32). Members of both groups were similar in mean age, sex distribution, left ventricular function, comorbidities, and medications.

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Baseline low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level was high in the statin group at the beginning of the study (150 mg/dL vs 98 mg/dL; <.001), but after statin therapy was initiated the mean LDL cholesterol level of the statin group was similar to that of the control group. However, all-cause hospitalizations (1.59 ± 0.33 vs 2.15 ± 0.29) and heart failure admissions (1.1 ± 0.26 vs 1.38 ± 0.18) were lower. There was also a 55% reduction in all-cause mortality in the statin group compared with the control group (10% vs 23%).

These improved outcomes were associated with the significant lowering of LDL cholesterol and suggest that there may be a possible association between statin therapy and prevention of heart failure and hospitalization as well as a lower mortality rate in elderly patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy.