The Effect of Statin Therapy on Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias: A Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess whether statin therapy is associated with a reduction in ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Statins have been shown to be beneficial beyond their cholesterol-lowering effects. These pleiotropic effects have been implicated in the protection against atrial fibrillation and the reduction in appropriate implantable cardioverter–defibrillator therapy in patients with coronary artery disease. This meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate whether statins were associated with a reduction in ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients with coronary artery disease or nonischemic cardiomyopathy. The Medline and Cochrane databases were searched for studies in human subjects published in the English language between 1985 and February 2010. Studies were included in our analysis if they provided data regarding the association between the use of statins and the incidence of ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation (VT/VF) in patients with coronary artery disease or nonischemic cardiomyopathy. The occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias was defined as the VT/VF occurrence or appropriate implantable cardioverter–defibrillator therapy for VT/VF. Of the 166 identified articles, nine prospective studies with 150,953 patients enrolled met our inclusion criteria and were included in this analysis. Using a random effects model, statin therapy was associated with a 31% reduction in the risk of VT/VF when compared with the group not on statin therapy (pooled relative risk = 0.69, 95% confidence interval, 0.58–0.83; heterogeneity I2 = 57.3%). There was a low likelihood of publication bias in this analysis (Egger's test P = 0.957). Statin use in patients with coronary artery disease or nonischemic cardiomyopathy is associated with a 31% reduction in the development of ventricular tachyarrhythmias.

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