Heart Beat: 11/07
Patients with chronic heart failure who take statins daily are more than twice as likely to avoid sudden cardiac death as those not on statin therapy, according to a study presented at Septemberís European Society of Cardiology Congress in Vienna. The 110-patient study showed that the mortality rate from any cause was 16 percent for patients on the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin and 36 percent for patients on a placebo. Researchers suggested that statins may help protect heart failure patients by reducing their QT interval variability, a major risk factor for arrhythmia. The QT interval refers to the time it takes for an electrical charge to pass through the ventricles. Researchers said in the future, statins could be prescribed as much for their ability to achieve electrical stability in the heart as for how well they lower cholesterol levels.