From a patient perspective, what does this mean for those on Warfarin; does a longer trial need to be observed before Statins can be considered an alternative to Coumadin?
Statement from Stephen Moll MD
“The results of this study are highly interesting. Statins have a number of effects other than lowering lipids and this may explain the positive effect seen in this trial on the rate of venous thromboembolism. However, before deducting anything clinical from this trial it is important to keep in mind that this was a primary prevention trial in a healthy population (patients without DVT), not a secondary prevention trial (patients with a history of DVT). The outcome difference was only significant for patients who developed DVT with a known risk factor (e.g., cancer, hospitalization, trauma, surgery). The difference was not significant for idiopathic (no known cause) DVT. Furthermore, it is unknown whether such protective effect would occur if the statin were started immediately before the high risk situation developed (i.e., does it have a rapid onset of protective effect such as an anticoagulant has). Thus, no comments are possible on (a) whether statins are an alternative to traditional DVT prophylaxis (heparin, low molecular heparins, Fondaparinux, warfarin, and the new oral anticoagulants) for people undergoing surgery or being hospitalized, and (b) whether they have any positive effect in people with a previous VTE and, thus whether they might supplement or be alternatives to warfarin.”
Stephan Moll, MD
Department of Medicine
Division of Hematology-Oncology
UNC School of Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC 27599