Effects of statin therapy on the development and progression of heart failure: mechanisms and clinical trials

J Card Fail. 2006 Oct;12(8):664-74. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2006.05.003.


Background: Statin therapy has been shown to effectively lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and reduce cardiovascular events. Statins also appear to exert other favorable effects, including anti-inflammatory actions and improvement in endothelial function. Statin therapy may therefore yield important clinical benefits in patients with heart failure-a physiologic state characterized by systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.

Methods and results: This review summarizes basic and clinical investigations regarding the role of statin therapy in heart failure, focusing on potential mechanisms and preliminary clinical data. There is now extensive evidence suggesting that statins improve endothelial function, inhibit neurohormonal activation, restore autonomic balance, reduce inflammation, and prevent ventricular remodeling. Retrospective and small-scale prospective studies suggest that statins prevent the development of heart failure and reduce mortality in patients with established HF.

Conclusion: Preliminary evidence supports a role for statins in improving surrogate markers and clinical outcomes in ischemic and nonischemic heart failure. Large-scale randomized clinical trials are needed to definitively address this important topic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autonomic Nervous System / drug effects
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Cardiac Output, Low / pathology
  • Cardiac Output, Low / physiopathology*
  • Cardiac Output, Low / prevention & control*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ventricular Remodeling / drug effects


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Neurotransmitter Agents