If you have coronary artery disease or peripheral vascular disease, using statins is clearly a benefit to your health. In those cases, statins lower your risk of future cardiac events. However, when it comes to treating aortic aneurysm disease, the benefits of statin use are not clearly proven. Some evidence does support statin use for aortic aneurysm but it depends on a variety of factors. It’s worth a discussion with your doctor.
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Some studies suggest that statins used for aortic aneurysm:
- Improve the function of the endothelium, the cells lining the inside of the blood vessels, while decreasing inflammation of the aortic wall.
- May slow aneurysm growth. Studies of large populations of patients suggest that growth rates of aneurysms seem to be slowed by adding statins to treatments.
- May offer patients decreased chances of mortality after surgery for ruptured aneurysm. Some small single-center studies show that patients on statins before aneurysms rupture have decreased mortality following surgery for ruptured aneurysm compared to those not on statins before surgery.
Study showing decreased mortality rates
Recently, investigators in Denmark assessed patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm and compare those patients with age and case-matched-control patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm without rupture. They accessed data from the Danish National Registry of Patients to do this study.
The authors found a decreased risk of aneurysm rupture in people taking statins. They also found a reduced risk of death in those people with ruptured aneurysm taking statins prior to the rupture.
There are a number of limitations to the study. These include the inability to assess the diameter of the aneurysms in these patients and the inability to assess the medical compliance comparatively in the two groups. However, the implications of the study show a lack of a downside in treating patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm with statins.
If you have been diagnosed with abdominal aortic aneurysm, you should check with your doctor. It may make sense to add a statin to your medication regimen. In most instances, the addition of this medication may add benefit by reducing growth rates, rupture risk, and mortality.