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The role of statin drugs in the management of the peripheral vascular patient.

The impact of statin therapy on established vascular conditions and recurrent disease is most relevant for long-term care. Patients receiving statin therapy have been shown to experience less recurrent stenosis following carotid endarterectomy and stent angioplasty, reduced cardiac events following cardiac and noncardiac vascular surgery, and reduction in aneurysm development. In patients with peripheral arterial disease, claudication distance is increased, as well as patency rates following infrainguinal arterial bypass grafting. Of note, statins drugs may also prove beneficial in the prevention of certain cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and osteoporosis (all diseases frequently seen concurrently in the patient with peripheral arterial disease). As such, it is becoming all the more necessary that vascular surgeons remain informed about clinical research initiatives related to statin use and lipid management in general. The following is a review of lipid metabolism as it applies to statins as well as a review of the beneficial effects of statins.

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