JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
OBSERVATIONAL STUDY
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Statin therapy after infrainguinal bypass surgery for critical limb ischemia is associated with improved 5-year survival.

OBJECTIVE: Although statin therapy has been linked to fewer short-term complications after infrainguinal bypass, its effect on long-term survival remains unclear. We therefore examined associations between statin use and long-term mortality, graft occlusion, and amputation after infrainguinal bypass.

METHODS: We used the Vascular Study Group of New England registry to study 2067 patients (71% male; mean age, 67 ± 11 years; 67% with critical limb ischemia [CLI]) who underwent infrainguinal bypass from 2003 to 2011. Of these, 1537 (74%) were on statins perioperatively and at 1-year follow-up, and 530 received no statin. We examined crude, adjusted, and propensity-matched rates of 5-year surviva1, 1-year amputation, graft occlusion, and perioperative myocardial infarction.

RESULTS: Patients taking statins at the time of surgery and at the 1-year follow-up were more likely to have coronary disease (38% vs 22%; P < .001), diabetes (51% vs 36%; P < .001), hypertension (89% vs 77%; P < .001), and prior revascularization procedures (50% vs 38%; P < .001). Despite higher comorbidity burdens, long-term survival was better for patients taking statins in crude (risk ratio [RR], 0.7; P < .001), adjusted (hazard ratio, 0.7; P = .001), and propensity-matched analyses (hazard ratio, 0.7; P = .03). In subgroup analysis, a survival advantage was evident in patients on statins with CLI (5-year survival rate, 63% vs 54%; log-rank, P = .01) but not claudication (5-year survival rate, 84% vs 80%; log-rank, P = .59). Statin therapy was not associated with 1-year rates of major amputation (12% vs 11%; P = .84) or graft occlusion (20% vs 18%; P = .58) in CLI patients. Perioperative myocardial infarction occurred more frequently in patients on a statin in crude analysis (RR, 2.2; P = .01) but not in the matched cohort (RR, 1.9; P = .17).

CONCLUSIONS: Statin therapy is associated with a 5-year survival benefit after infrainguinal bypass in patients with CLI. However, 1-year limb-related outcomes were not influenced by statin use in our large observational cohort of patients undergoing revascularization in New England.

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