Prior Statin Use May Improve Survival After Cardiac Arrest

Patients who were taking statins were more likely to survive to hospital admission, discharge, and the 1-year point.

NEW ORLEANS — Patients assigned to preventive statins were more likely to survive at least one year after a cardiac arrest compared with patients not taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs.1

Ping-Hsun Yu, MD, study senior author and a researcher at the Taipei Hospital Ministry of Health and Welfare presented the results at this year’s American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Sessions in New Orleans. Dr Yu added that patients with type 2 diabetes derived the most benefit.

“There is some risk associated with statins, but this study confirms the benefit,” Dr Yu said in a press release.2

Compared with patients not taking preventive statins, patients taking statins who experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were more likely survive to

  • admission (odds ratio [OR]:1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-1.27)
  • discharge (OR:1.47; 95% CI, 1.31-1.65)
  • 1 year (OR:1.50; 95% CI, 1.31-1.71)

Statin use was also independently associated with improved survival at 1 year (OR:1.45; 95% CI, 1.26-1.68).

Dr Yu and investigators analyzed data collected in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database on 137,933 adults who experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest from January 2004 through December 2011. Patients included in the study were resuscitated in the emergency department, stayed in emergency department fewer than 6 hours, had no trauma-related diagnosis, and were triage level 1. Those patients were divided into 2 groups according to statin use prior to cardiac arrest.

Patients were matched by propensity-score and divided the cohort into those who had taken any statin for at least 90 days in the previous year of cardiac arrest (n=8249) and a non-statin group (n=24,747).

However, the researchers warned that, because more than 95% of cohort was Asian, the results may not apply to other ethnic groups or to multiethnic populations. Additionally, among those patients with statin use prior to cardiac arrest, those used atorvastatin more than 20 mg/d or rosuvastatin more than 10 mg/d had better outcomes than other statin users.


  1. Yu P, Huang C, Tsai M, Chen W. Statin use is associated with better outcomes in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in a nationwide cohort study. Presented at: the 2016 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. November 12-16, 2016: New Orleans, LA.
  2. Use of statins before cardiac arrest may aid survival afterwards [press release]. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Newsroom; November 12, 2016.