Heart Beat: 05/08
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs also may help reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of abnormal heartbeat, according to research published in the Feb. 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In the report, researchers examined data from six studies involving more than 3,500 patients with AFib or who were at high risk of AFib after a heart attack or bypass surgery. Overall, there was a 61 percent reduction in the risk of AFib among the patients on statin therapy. Researchers say further research is needed to better understand how statins might prevent AFib, but they do suggest that statins’ anti-inflammatory qualities, rather than the drugs’ cholesterol-lowering effects, help preserve healthy heart rhythm.