Cardiac bypass surgery mortality linked to pre-op statin discontinuation

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While patients frequently forget to take, or are advised to stop taking, medication on the day of surgery, a new study published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery suggests ensuring patients on statins continue to take their medication could have a positive impact on cardiac surgery outcomes.

Researchers looked at data for 3,025 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting between 2005 and 2011. They found the incidence of 30-day all-cause mortality was 1.7 per cent for those who had taken statins 24 hours or less preoperatively compared to 2.9 per cent for those who took statins 24 to 72 hours preoperatively and 3.8 per cent for those who did not take statins or whose last dose was more than 72 hours before surgery.

A preoperative dose of more than 20mg was associated with a 68 per cent reduction in 30-day all-cause mortality compared with no preoperative statin. A preoperative dose of up to 20mg showed no mortality reduction.

It is hoped that additional studies will further clarify the role of preoperative statin therapy.