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Eur Heart J. 2004 May;25(9):742-8.

Statin therapy improves cardiovascular outcome of patients with peripheral artery disease.

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Division of Angiology, Department of Internal Medicine II, Vienna General Hospital, Medical School, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.



We sought to examine the interrelationship between statin use, inflammation, and outcome of high-risk patients with advanced atherosclerosis.


We prospectively studied 515 patients with severe peripheral artery disease (median age 70 years, 296 males). The cardiovascular risk profile and laboratory parameters of inflammation (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hs-CRP], serum amyloid A [SAA], fibrinogen, serum albumin, neutrophil counts) were obtained, and patients were followed for a median of 21 months (interquartile range 12-25) for the occurrence of myocardial infarction (MI) and death. We observed 19 MIs (5 fatal and 14 nonfatal) and 65 deaths. Cumulative survival and event-free survival rates (freedom from death and MI) at 6, 12, and 24 months were 97%, 95%, and 89%, and 96%, 93% and 87%, respectively. Patients receiving statin therapy (n=269, 52%) had a lower level of inflammation (hs-CRP p<0.001, SAA p=0.001, fibrinogen p=0.007, albumin p<0.001, neutrophils p=0.049) and better survival (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.52, p=0.022) and event-free survival rates (adjusted HR 0.48, p=0.004) than patients not treated with statins. However, patients with low inflammatory activity (hs-CRP < or =0.42 mg/dl) had no significant benefit from statin therapy (p=0.74 for survival; p=0.83 for event-free survival), whereas in patients with high hs-CRP (>0.42 mg/dl) statin therapy was associated with a significantly reduced risk for mortality (adjusted HR 0.58, p=0.046) and the composite of myocardial infarction and death (adjusted HR 0.46, p=0.016).


Statin therapy is associated with a substantially improved intermediate-term survival of patients with severe peripheral artery disease and a high inflammatory activity, whereas in patients with low hs-CRP no survival benefit was observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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