This study was published in the American Heart Journal 2010 Feb;159(2):307-13
Study title and authors:
Association of statin prescription with small abdominal aortic aneurysm progression.
Ferguson CD, Clancy P, Bourke B, Walker PJ, Dear A, Buckenham T, Norman P, Golledge J.
Vascular Biology Unit, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20152231
Abdominal aortic aneurysm is recognized as an important cause of death in older men. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is when the large blood vessel (aorta) that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs becomes abnormally large or balloons outward. The larger the aneurysm, the more likely it is to rupture and break open.
The study assessed the association of statin treatment (and other medications) and with abdominal aortic aneurysms expansion. The study, which lasted for six years, included 652 patients undergoing surveillance of small abdominal aortic aneurysms.
The study found:
(a) Those taking statins had a 23% increased risk of their abdominal aortic aneurysm expanding more than average compared to those not taking statins.
(b) Those taking beta-blockers had a 13% increased risk of their abdominal aortic aneurysm expanding more than average compared to those not taking beta-blockers.
(c) Those taking aspirin had a 10% increased risk of their abdominal aortic aneurysm expanding more than average compared to those not taking aspirin.
The data from the study shows that statin users have an increased risk of larger expansion of abdominal aortic aneurysms compared to non users.