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Statin Use Cuts Risks for Postsurgical Kidney Injuries

Preoperative statin use appears to be associated with a decreased risk of postoperative acute kidney injury, according to results from a large investigation. An analysis of patients who underwent a major open abdominal, cardiac, thoracic, or vascular procedure found that statin use was associated with hazard ratios of 0.74 to 0.80 when compared with no statin use. Abstract: American Journal of Medicine, December...

A New Guideline for Treating Hypertriglyceridemia

Hypertriglyceridemia can substantially increase the likelihood of patients developing heart disease when compared with those who have normal triglyceride levels. While treatment strategies for this condition are well established, its causes differ from patient to patient, as do the risks they pose to each individual. Clinical practice guidelines from the Endocrine Society on hypertriglyceridemia were published in the September 2012 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (view and print guideline summary here). They recommend that more attention be paid to how personal history, physiology, and lifestyle interact to affect risk. “In recent years, much of the focus surrounding lipids has concentrated on cholesterol,” explains Lars Berglund, MD, PhD, who chaired the Endocrine Society task force that developed the most recent guidelines. “Although there are evidence–based guidelines from respected medical associations that address lipids, data on the complex role of triglycerides in heart disease continue to accumulate. Considering this recent emergence of data on triglycerides, it was important to focus on a guideline that specifically discusses this component of heart disease care.” Individualized Approach with Elevated Triglycerides Dr. Berglund stresses that clinicians should not view elevated fasting triglyceride levels as a standalone factor. “Triglycerides should be looked at in the context of other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic disease,” he says. “Assessment should include the evaluation of secondary causes of hyperlipidemia, including endocrine conditions and medications [Table 1]. Central obesity, hypertension, abnormalities of glucose metabolism, liver dysfunction, and family history of dyslipidemia and CVD should be assessed.” For example, patients with triglyceride levels in the moderate range—200 mg/dl to 999 mg/ dl—may have changes in HDL and...

Heart Medications & Pneumonia Outcomes

Statin use appears to decrease mortality and reduce length of stay in patients hospitalized with pneumonia, according to findings from a Veterans Affairs study. Statins were also associated with decreased mechanical ventilation use. The authors added that ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers also improved outcomes in these patients, but to a lesser degree. Abstract: Clinical Infectious Diseases, December 1,...

Can Statins Reduce Cancer-Related Mortality?

Use of statins in patients with 13 different types of cancer appears to be associated with reduced cancer-related mortality when compared with no statin use, according to a Danish investigation. For statin users, the all-cause mortality and cancer-related mortality hazard ratios were 0.85 when compared with those who did not use these medications. Abstract: New England Journal of Medicine, November 8,...
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