Heart Beat: 02/08
A regimen of statin therapy to reduce levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or "bad cholesterol") after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery can lower the risk of post-operative strokes, Cleveland Clinic researchers have discovered. In a study of more than 5,000 patients who underwent CABG during a 12-year period, the overall incidence of stroke was 3.3 percent within the first year. Patients who received statin therapy after surgery were much less likely to suffer strokes within a year and had lower LDL levels. Michael Becker, MD, suggested that doctors should consider statins among discharge medications after heart surgeries. Dr. Becker presented his research at the American Heart Associations annual conference in November.