Conference Coverage

Statins reduce recurrent thromboembolism risk



DALLAS – Current use of a statin was associated with significantly reduced risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism in a large national Danish observational study.

The fully adjusted 17% reduction in risk noted in statin users compared with nonusers was driven by a sharp reduction in the risk of recurrent deep venous thrombosis. In contrast, statin use provided no protection against recurrent pulmonary embolism, Dr. Morten Schmidt said at the American Heart Association scientific sessions.

He reported on all 40,780 Danish patients who experienced a first-ever venous thromboembolism (VTE) as recorded in the national hospital registry during 2004-2011.

Statin nonusers had close to an 8% cumulative incidence of recurrent VTE through 12 months of follow-up. The unadjusted risk of a recurrent VTE during months 3-12 after the initial event was 29% lower in current statin users as compared to nonusers. However, statin users were on average older and had a greater burden of comorbidities than nonusers. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for these and other potential confounders, including aspirin or anticoagulant use, current statin use remained associated with a 17% lower relative risk of recurrent VTE, according to Dr. Schmidt of Aarhus (Denmark) University.

Current statin users had an unadjusted 48% reduction in the risk of deep venous thrombosis, which in a multivariate regression analysis was modified to a still-highly-significant 26% relative risk reduction.

Session cochair Dr. Brendan M. Everett commented that the results of the earlier landmark JUPITER trial support the Danish national observational study findings. In the nearly 19,000-subject, randomized, double-blind JUPITER study, subjects assigned to rosuvastatin had a highly significant 43% reduction in the risk of incident VTE during follow-up compared with placebo-treated controls. This was driven by a 55% reduction in the risk of incident deep venous thrombosis, with statin therapy having no significant effect on the risk of incident pulmonary embolism (N. Engl. J. Med. 2009;360:1851-61).

The JUPITER results strengthen the Danish study conclusions because JUPITER’s randomized design balances out inherent potential confounders in the observational study design, such as the possibility that statin-treated Danes with a first VTE might have received more comprehensive medical care, noted Dr. Everett, director of the general cardiology inpatient service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

Dr. Schmidt reported having no financial conflicts of interest with regard to his study, which was funded by Danish scientific research grants.

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