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PREOPERATIVE STATINS

ANCHOR LEAD: SHOULD MEDICINES USED ROUTINELY TO LOWER CHOLESTEROL BE ADMINISTERED PRIOR TO SURGERY?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

People who need surgery on their blood vessels, so called vascular surgery, benefit greatly from taking statins for several weeks prior to the operation, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported.  Pam Lipsett, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins, says the strategy makes sense.

LIPSETT:  This is a very interesting, very hot topic.  Statins have been proposed for the use of almost anything today.  But there really is some basic science behind this.  The inflammatory cascade is dramatically altered by the use of statins and I think there probably are uses that go beyond modification of lipid profiles for long term use.  And I think we’re beginning to see some reasonable studies that suggest there may be other indications, and I think this is such a study.          :31

Statins reduce cardiovascular events and death by about fifty percent in those who took them, all of whom had not been taking statins previously.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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