24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
FDA Approves First Contact Lens That Slows Myopia ProgressionStatins Won't Harm Aging Brains, and May Even HelpGene Test Might Someday Gauge Your Cardiac Arrest RiskExpensive Device Used in Heart Surgeries Might Pose Dangers: StudyCheap, Older Gout Drug Could Be a Lifesaver After Heart AttackStudy Casts Doubt on Angioplasty, Bypass for Many Heart PatientsFasting Diet Could Benefit Heart Health: StudyFetroja Approved to Treat Complicated Urinary Tract InfectionsFlu Season Starting to Ramp Up in the SouthAHA News: Quitting Smoking Could Lead to Major Changes in Gut BacteriaHealth Tip: Do's and Don'ts for Calling 911Experimental Injection May Protect Against Peanut AllergyReblozyl Approved to Treat Anemia in Patients With Beta ThalassemiaAHA News: High Blood Pressure Common Among Black Young AdultsAHA News: Congenital Heart Disease Linked to Neighborhood Pollution, PovertySome Headway Made Against 'Superbugs,' but Threat Remains: CDCHealth Tip: A Well-Stocked First-Aid KitLung Cancer Report Delivers Good, Bad NewsAHA News: Millions Unaware of Common Heart Attack SymptomsWant Extra Years of Life? Keep Blood Pressure Tightly ControlledTestosterone Supplements Double Men's Odds for Blood Clots: StudyHealth Tip: Treating Post-Nasal DripOpioids Won't Help Arthritis Patients Long-Term: StudyCommon Muscle Relaxant Could Pose Mental Dangers for SeniorsKratom May Cause Liver Damage: StudySupplements Don't Prevent Kidney Disease in Type 2 DiabeticsNew Tool Predicts Odds of Kidney DiseaseVitamin E Acetate Is Leading Suspect in Vaping-Linked Lung Illnesses: CDCVaping-Linked Lung Illnesses Top 2,000, CDC SaysAHA News: Stroke Death Rate Increasing for Middle-Aged AmericansRural Americans Dying More From Preventable Causes Than City DwellersWhy Hand-Washing Beats Hand SanitizersSleepless Nights Could Raise Heart RisksScreening Truckers for Sleep Apnea Cuts Health Insurance CostsDo You Take Biotin Supplements? They Could Affect Your Medical TestsAHA News: Heart Disease Down Over A Generation Among American IndiansRisks Mount for Lonely Hearts After Cardiac SurgeryDaylight Saving Time Bad for Health, Experts ClaimHealth Tip: Prevent BloatingCould a Blood Test for Breast Cancer Become a Reality?One Dead, 8 Hospitalized in Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Ground BeefMost Americans Fear Cancer, but Feel Powerless to Prevent It: SurveyFewer Opioids After Eye Surgery Don't Mean More Post-Op PainDrug Trio Could Give Patients With Cystic Fibrosis a New OptionCould Tissue-Sealing Tape One Day Replace Stitches?Deep Sleep May 'Rinse' Day's Toxins From BrainClose to 1,900 Cases of Vaping-Linked Lung Illness, CDC SaysMeasles Leaves People More Vulnerable to Future InfectionsHealth Tip: Nausea After EatingSooner Is Usually Better for Gallbladder Surgery
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Poor Circulation in Legs? Statin Meds Can Keep You Living Longer

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Sep 4th 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Folks with peripheral artery disease (PAD) have a much lower risk of death if they take cholesterol-lowering statins as directed by their doctor, a new study reports.

About 200 million people worldwide suffer from PAD, a condition in which arteries feeding blood to the legs become clogged, researchers explained.

However, patients who took their prescribed statins had a 20% rate of death over more than four years of follow-up, compared with about 34% for people who either stopped taking statins or never started them, European researchers found.

"This is an important observation that underscores the importance of statin adherence," said Dr. Robert Rosenson, director of cardiometabolic disorders at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Previous studies have underscored the health benefits of statins in patients with PAD, but this new report shows that those benefits can lead to a longer life, said Rosenson, who was not involved in the study.

"Clinicians need to discuss statin treatment adherence with each encounter," he said.

PAD can cause debilitating leg symptoms, including painful cramps, numbness and weakness in 3 out of 10 patients, researchers said. Others develop gangrene in their feet due to poor circulation.

PAD also increases a person's odds for stroke and heart attack, so cholesterol-lowering statins are recommended for all PAD patients, the researchers said.

Unfortunately, patients often don't take their statins as directed. Statin adherence rates in Europe are around 57%, while in the United States, they are at 50% or lower, said Dr. Maja Zaric, an interventional cardiologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

To gauge the importance of statin therapy in PAD, researchers led by Dr. Jorn Dopheide from Bern University Hospital in Switzerland tracked nearly 700 patients between 2010 and 2017, with a median follow-up of 50 months. Half were followed for a longer time, half for less.

About 73% of the patients were taking statins at the start of the study, increasing to 81% by the end, researchers reported.

"The patients these folks looked into, they had a pretty good statin adherence to begin with, more than the average in U.S. users with PAD," Zaric said.

The study revealed that patients' levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol dropped over time, with the greatest decrease found among patients taking heavy doses of statins.

Patients taking the highest doses also had the lowest death rate, around 10%, Dopheide's team found.

There seemed to be strong and immediate effects from starting and stopping statins, as well.

New statin users had a death rate of around 15%, compared to 33% for people who stopped taking statins. Those whose dose was reduced had a 43% death rate -- the study's highest.

"That just shows there may be a rebound effect when you have a statin on board and you are controlling your LDL cholesterol production through the liver," said Zaric, who wasn't part of the study. "There may be a potential rebound when you stop or reduce the medication and the liver temporarily overproduces LDL cholesterol."

Aside from taking statins, patients should also make other heart-healthy lifestyle changes -- eating right, exercising, losing weight and quitting smoking, Rosenson said.

These patients also usually benefit from taking either aspirin or another type of blood thinner, Zaric said.

The researchers presented their findings Tuesday at the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting, in Paris. Studies presented at meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The Mayo Clinic has more about peripheral artery disease.