Statins have been observed to have a variety of pleoitropic effects such as improved pulmonary function (PF) in systolic heart failure (SHF). However, it is unclear if the same benefit applies to patients with diastolic heart failure (DHF). The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of statins on PF and exercise tolerance (ET) in patients with DHF versus SHF.
Demographic, statin, PF, and ET data were retrospectively examined in 139 patients with heart failure. A non-statin group (NSG; 82% of patients had DHF) of 75 patients (mean age = 55 ± 14 years; 55% women) was compared to a statin group (SG; 72% of patients had DHF) of 61 patients (mean age = 64 ± 11 years; 34% women).
Atorvastatin was the most commonly prescribed statin (75%). The PF (FEV1 and FVC) and ET (peak Watts, peak VO2, Watts@AT, VO2@AT) of the SG were significantly lower (p < .05) than the NSG. However, subgroup analyses revealed that PF measures of the DHF SG were 12% lower (p < .05) than PF measures of the DHF NSG and although the PF measures of the SHF SG were not significantly greater than the SHF NSG, they were 11% to 14% higher than the PF measures of the SHF NSG. The DHF SG peak Watts and peak VO2 were significantly lower (p < .05) than those of the DHF NSG (16% and 18%, respectively). However, peak Watts and peak VO2 of the SHF NSG and SG were very similar. The most significant ET difference was the lower Watts@AT in the DHF SG (47%) compared to the DHF NSG (p < .05).
An opposite effect of statins on PF and ET appears to exist in patients with DHF compared to SHF. Patients with SHF receive beneficial effects from statins while patients with DHF receive less favorable results from statins.
Dyspnea and fatigue may worsen when patients with DHF are prescribed a statin, but patients with SHF may experience less dyspnea and fatigue when prescribed a statin.
Lawrence Cahalin, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information