Cholesterol-lowering drug may also reduce risk of blood clots

November 10, 2004

Statin drugs, commonly used to lower high cholesterol blood levels, have been shown to possibly decrease the risk for thrombotic complications of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), a disease associated with blood clotting and recurrent fetal loss. Research conducted on animal models, has shown success in using the drug fluvastatin to inhibit the factors causing development of thrombosis.

"Statin drugs appear to decrease abnormalities that increase the risk of thrombosis associated with antiphospholipid antibodies," states Dr. Robin L. Brey in an editorial commenting on a study (Fluvastatin inhibits up-regulation of tissue factor expression by antiphospholipid antibodies on endothelial cells, D.E. Ferrara, et al.) published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. The presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) is a main characteristic of APS.

Current treatments include the use of blood thinning drugs like warfarin, which does not dissolve blood clots, but can prevent their formation and further growth, according to The Cleveland Clinic. However, this treatment is difficult for patients to take because of the need for frequent blood monitoring, potential bleeding complications, and the cost and inconvenience due to multiple drug interactions. The study, led by D.E. Ferrara and researchers from Morehouse School of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine and University of Milan, Italy, suggests that statins may replace warfarin, or certainly provide an alternative therapy pending more study in human trials.

In addition, "statin drugs seem to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke independent of their effect on cholesterol lowering and are relatively free of serious side effects," said Brey. "However, clinical trials must be performed to see if their protective effect in patients with aPL holds up."
-end-
The National Organization for Rare Disorders reports that APS is characterized by recurring blood clots in individuals before the age of 45 and may also be associated with repeated spontaneous abortions for no apparent reason in young women.

Both the study and related commentary are published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Media wishing to receive a PDF of the article contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

For an abstract on the study by Ferrara et al visit: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1111/j.1538-7836.2004.00896.x/abs/ or http://www.journalth.com/showPage.php?template=Sottocategorie&search=12867&masterPage=abstract.html.

About the Authors
Commentating author, Robin L. Brey, M.D., is Professor of Medicine in the Department of Neurology and Associate Director of the General Clinical Research Center Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Brey can be reached for questions and interviews at brey@uthscsa.edu. Corresponding author of the study by Ferrara et al is Professor S. S. Pierangeli, pierans@msm.edu.

About the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, the official journal of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, is advancing science related to the important medical problems of thrombosis, bleeding disorders and vascular biology through the diffusion and exchange of information and ideas within the international research community. The Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis is now available in print and online.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 550 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals and 600 text and reference books annually, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Related Warfarin Articles from Brightsurf:

Rivaroxaban may be as effective as warfarin for bioprosthetic mitral valves, AF
The RIVER trial is the largest study assessing the efficacy and safety of the anticoagulant rivaroxaban in patients with an artificial mitral valve to correct an irregular heart rhythm.

Warfarin use significantly increases risk of knee and hip replacement in people with OA
New research shows that use of warfarin is associated with a significantly greater risk of knee and hip replacements in patients with OA.

AMP recommends minimum set of pharmacogenetic alleles to help standardize clinical genotyping testing for warfarin response
AMP has published consensus, evidence-based recommendations to aid in the design, validation and interpretation of clinical genotyping tests for the prediction of warfarin response.

Research suggests no difference in morning versus evening dosing for warfarin
Patients taking warfarin to reduce the risk of stroke and pulmonary embolisms are often advised to take the medication in the evening.

Eating more vitamin K found to help, not harm, patients on warfarin
When prescribed the anticoagulant drug warfarin, many patients are told to limit foods rich in vitamin K, such as green vegetables.

New anti-clotting drugs linked to lower risk of serious bleeding
New drugs known as direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) used to treat serious blood clots are associated with reduced risks of major bleeding compared with the older anti-clotting drug, warfarin, finds a study in The BMJ today.

Researchers lengthen intervals between blood draws for warfarin patients
A new study finds stable patients on blood thinners may not need to get their blood drawn as often as they currently do.

Herbal products may compromise prescription drugs and cause serious side effects
An analysis of published studies and reports indicates that a number of herbal products may affect the properties of prescription drugs, leading to alterations in the drugs' effectiveness as well as potentially dangerous side effects.

Is anticoagulant warfarin associated with lower risk of cancer incidence?
Bottom Line: Use of the blood thinner warfarin was associated with a lower risk of new cancers in people over 50.

New anti-clotting drugs not associated with higher risk of major bleeding
A new group of drugs used to treat patients with serious blood clots are not associated with a higher risk of major bleeding compared with the older anti-clotting drug, warfarin, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Read More: Warfarin News and Warfarin Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.