Context: Randomized trials have established statin treatment as secondary prevention in coronary artery disease, but it is unclear whether early treatment with statins following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) influences survival.
Objective: To evaluate the association between statin treatment initiated before or at the time of hospital discharge and 1-year mortality after AMI.
Design and setting: Prospective cohort study using data from the Swedish Register of Cardiac Intensive Care on patients admitted to the coronary care units of 58 Swedish hospitals in 1995-1998. One-year mortality data were obtained from the Swedish National Cause of Death Register.
Patients: Patients with first registry-recorded AMI who were younger than 80 years and who were discharged alive from the hospital, including 5528 who received statins at or before discharge and 14 071 who did not.
Main outcome measure: Relative risk of 1-year mortality according to statin treatment.
Results: At 1 year, unadjusted mortality was 9.3% (1307 deaths) in the no-statin group and 4.0% (219 deaths) in the statin treatment group. In regression analysis adjusting for confounding factors and propensity score for statin use, early statin treatment was associated with a reduction in 1-year mortality (relative risk, 0.75; 95% confidence interval, 0.63-0.89; P =.001) in hospital survivors of AMI. This reduction in mortality was similar among all subgroups based on age, sex, baseline characteristics, previous disease manifestations, and medications.
Conclusions: Early initiation of statin treatment in patients with AMI is associated with reduced 1-year mortality. These results emphasize the importance of implementing the results of randomized statin trials in unselected AMI patients.