The results of a study, reported in Heart (October 2004), suggested that any patients who undergo angioplasty should receive statin drugs. The findings showed that statin drugs are equally beneficial for patients with stable angina or unstable angina. Whereas earlier studies had suggested a benefit of statin therapy for patients with stable angina, studies had not examined statin treatment for patients with unstable angina.
For the present study, the researchers examined data from 1658 patients who had participated in a previous study and were classified as having stable or unstable angina. The participants were randomly assigned to receive the statin fluvastatin or a placebo after having angioplasty, and they were followed for 4 years. The fluvastatin-treated patients with both types of angina experienced similar reductions in cholesterol levels. The statin also lowered the risk of adverse heart events in both groups to a similar degree.