Impact of prior statin therapy on arrhythmic events in patients with acute coronary syndromes (from the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events [GRACE])

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Outcomes Research; Department of Surgery; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Acute Coronary Syndrome; Aged; Arrhythmias, Cardiac; Female; Humans; Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors; Male; Middle Aged; Primary Prevention; Risk Factors; Treatment Outcome


Health Services Research


Animal models of myocardial ischemia have demonstrated reduction in arrhythmias using statins. It was hypothesized that previous statin therapy before hospitalization might be associated with reductions of in-hospital arrhythmic events in patients with acute coronary syndromes. In this multinational, prospective, observational study (the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events [GRACE]), data from 64,679 patients hospitalized for suspected acute coronary syndromes (from 1999 to 2007) were analyzed. The primary outcome of interest was in-hospital arrhythmic events in previous statin users compared with nonusers. The 2 primary end points were atrial fibrillation and the composite end point of ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, and/or cardiac arrest. In-hospital death was also examined. Of the 64,679 patients, 17,636 (27%) had received previous statin therapy. Those taking statins had higher crude rates of histories of angina (69% vs 46%), diabetes (34% vs 22%), heart failure (15% vs 8.4%), hypertension (74% vs 58%), atrial fibrillation (9.3% vs 7.0%), and dyslipidemia (85% vs 35%). Patients previously taking statins were less likely to have in-hospital arrhythmias. In propensity-adjusted multivariable models, previous statin use was associated with a lower risk for ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, or cardiac arrest (odds ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.72 to 0.96, p = 0.002); atrial fibrillation (odds ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.73 to 0.89, p <0.0001); and death (odds ratio 0.82, 95% confidence interval 0.70 to 0.95, p = 0.010). In conclusion, patients previously taking statins had a lower incidence of in-hospital arrhythmic events after acute coronary syndrome than those not previously taking statins. Our study suggests another possible benefit from appropriate primary and secondary prevention therapy with statins.

DOI of Published Version



Am J Cardiol. 2009 Dec 15;104(12):1613-7. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of cardiology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID