Purpose: To assess the potential long-term beneficial effects of statin use after successful abdominal aortic surgery.
Methods: Between 1991 and 2001, 570 patients underwent abdominal aortic aneurysm repair at the Erasmus Medical Center. Of the 519 patients (91%) who survived surgery beyond 30 days, 510 (98%) were followed for a median of 4.7 years (interquartile range, 2.7 to 7.3 years). These patients were evaluated for use of statins and beta-blockers, and for clinical risk factors (e.g., advanced age; prior myocardial infarction; diabetes mellitus; renal dysfunction; chronic pulmonary disease; history of heart failure, stroke, or angina), and their association with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.
Results: A total of 205 patients (40%) died during follow-up; 140 due to cardiovascular causes. The incidence of all-cause (18% [27/154] vs. 50% [178/356], P <0.001) and cardiovascular (11% [17/154] vs. 34% [122/356], P <0.001) mortality was significantly lower in statin users than in nonstatin users. After adjusting for clinical risk factors and beta-blocker use, the association between statin use and reduced all-cause (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.4; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.3 to 0.6; P <0.001) and cardiovascular (HR = 0.3; 95% CI: 0.2 to 0.6; P <0.001) mortality persisted. Beta-blocker use was also associated with a significant reduction in all-cause (HR = 0.6; 95% CI: 0.5 to 0.9; P = 0.003) and cardiovascular (HR = 0.7; 95% CI: 0.4 to 0.9; P = 0.03) mortality. There was no evidence of an association between statin use and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality according to beta-blocker use or clinical risk factors.
Conclusion: Long-term statin use is associated with reduced all-cause and cardiovascular mortality irrespective of clinical risk factors and beta-blocker use.