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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2003 October;51(5):577-84

language: English

Early statin therapy in acute coronary syndromes

Kinlay S.


Patients who survive an acute coronary syndrome are at much higher risk of a recurrent event within the following year than patients with stable coronary syndromes. Risk factor modification, including statin therapy, lowers the risk of recurrent events over many years, but also to reduces the high risk of an another event within the weeks to months following the initial acute coronary syndrome. The mechanisms that contribute to this benefit are likely related to improvements in endothelial function, a decrease in vascular inflammation, and reduced prothrombotic factors. The effects of statins may be mediated by cholesterol reduction, cholesterol-independent effects (particularly by decreasing isoprenoids), and mechanisms that are independent of inhibiting HMG CoA reductase. Observational studies show an early reduction in mortality with statin therapy started before discharge from hospital after an acute coronary syndrome. Several randomized controlled trials also support a rapid reduction in the risk of recurrent events after starting statins during the hospital admission for an acute coronary syndrome. Early statin therapy is also related to improved compliance and use of statins several years after a coronary event. Thus early statin therapy may improve both early and long-term secondary prevention efforts.

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