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Am Heart J. 2010 Feb;159(2):307-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2009.11.016.

Association of statin prescription with small abdominal aortic aneurysm progression.

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Vascular Biology Unit, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.



Statins have been suggested to reduce expansion of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) independent of lipid-lowering effects.


We assessed the association of statin treatment and serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) concentrations with small AAA expansion. Six hundred fifty-two patients undergoing surveillance of small AAAs were entered into the study from 5 vascular centers. In a subset, fasting lipids (n = 451) and other biomarkers (n = 216) were measured. The AAA diameter was followed by ultrasound surveillance for a median of 5 years.


Three hundred forty-nine (54%) of the patients were prescribed statins. Adjusting for other risk factors, statin prescription was not associated with AAA growth (odds ratio [OR] 1.23, 95% CI 0.86-1.76). Above-median AAA growth was positively associated with initial diameter (OR 1.78 per 4.35-mm-larger initial aortic diameter, 95% CI 1.49-2.14) and negatively associated with diabetes (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.22-0.62). Above-median serum LDL concentration was not associated with AAA growth. Patients receiving statins had lower serum C-reactive protein concentrations but similar matrix metalloproteinase-9 and interleukin-6 concentrations to those not prescribed these medications.


We found no association between statin prescription or LDL concentration with AAA expansion. The results do not support the findings of smaller studies and suggest that statins may have no benefit in reducing AAA progression.

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