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Pleiotropic effects of statins in atrial fibrillation patients: the evidence

Authors Hadi HK, Mahmeed WA, Suwaidi JA, Ellahham S

Published 17 June 2009 Volume 2009:5 Pages 533—551


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Hadi AR Hadi, Wael Al Mahmeed, Jassim Al Suwaidi, Samer Ellahham

Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abstract: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia in clinical practice. The understanding of the pathophysiology of AF has changed during the last several decades, and a significant role of inflammation and of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system has been postulated both experimentally and clinically. There is emerging evidence of an association between inflammation and AF, and mounting evidence links increased C-reactive protein levels not only to already existing AF but also to the risk of developing future AF. The beneficial effects of statins on AF have been reported in several studies. Several randomized clinical and large observational studies have shown similar result that show the beneficial effect of statins in AF. In clinical studies, statins were considered effective in preventing AF after electrical cardioversion, post-ablation, and after permanent pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator insertion. The antiarrhythmic mechanisms of statins regarding AF prevention in patients with heart failure are still not clear. Perioperative statin use has been associated with favorable postoperative outcome in both cardiovascular and noncardiovascular conditions. Despite a growing body of evidence that drugs with anti-inflammatory properties such as statins may prevent AF, the observed positive effects of statins on the burden of AF appeared to be independent of their cholesterol-reducing properties. However, further data from large-scale randomized trials are clearly needed.

Keywords: statins, pleiotropic effects, atrial fibrillation

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