JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Effect of lipid lowering on new-onset atrial fibrillation in patients with asymptomatic aortic stenosis: the Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis (SEAS) study

Casper N Bang, Anders M Greve, Kurt Boman, Kenneth Egstrup, Christa Gohlke-Baerwolf, Lars Køber, Christoph A Nienaber, Simon Ray, Anne B Rossebø, Kristian Wachtell
American Heart Journal 2012, 163 (4): 690-6
22520536

BACKGROUND: Lipid-lowering drugs, particularly statins, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may prevent atrial fibrillation (AF). This effect has not been investigated on new-onset AF in asymptomatic patients with aortic stenosis (AS).

METHODS: Asymptomatic patients with mild-to-moderate AS (n = 1,421) were randomized (1:1) to double-blind simvastatin 40 mg and ezetimibe 10 mg combination or placebo and followed up for a mean of 4.3 years. The primary end point was the time to new-onset AF adjudicated by 12-lead electrocardiogram at a core laboratory reading center. Secondary outcomes were the correlates of new-onset AF with nonfatal nonhemorrhagic stroke and a combined end point of AS-related events.

RESULTS: During the course of the study, new-onset AF was detected in 85 (6%) patients (14.2/1,000 person-years of follow-up). At baseline, patients who developed AF were, compared with those remaining in sinus rhythm, older and had a higher left ventricular mass index a smaller aortic valve area index. Treatment with simvastatin and ezetimibe was not associated with less new-onset AF (odds ratio 0.89 [95% CI 0.57-1.97], P = .717). In contrast, age (hazard ratio [HR] 1.07 [95% CI 1.05-1.10], P < .001) and left ventricular mass index (HR 1.01 [95% CI 1.01-1.02], P < .001) were independent predictors of new-onset AF. The occurrence of new-onset AF was independently associated with 2-fold higher risk of AS-related outcomes (HR 1.65 [95% CI 1.02-2.66], P = .04) and 4-fold higher risk of nonfatal nonhemorrhagic stroke (HR 4.04 [95% CI 1.18-13.82], P = .03).

CONCLUSIONS: Simvastatin and ezetimibe were not associated with less new-onset AF. Older age and greater left ventricular mass index were independent predictors of AF development. New-onset AF was associated with a worsening of prognosis.

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