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Statins "cut irregular heartbeat"

Cholesterol-busting statins may also reduce the risk of an irregular heartbeat, experts have suggested.

The drugs cut the chance of heart disease and heart attacks but now scientists claim they may provide an extra protective effect.

Findings on atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart were noted in a review of research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

Data from six trials involving nearly 3,600 patients, all of whom had had atrial fibrillation in the past or had a high risk of developing new atrial fibrillation following a heart attack or coronary bypass surgery, were analysed by French researchers.

Their study found that patients who took statins were 61% less likely to develop atrial fibrillation than patients not on them.

Dr Laurent Fauchier, from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Trousseau, Tours, France, said it is too early to consider prescribing statins to all patients with a history of atrial fibrillation, but the results suggested a bonus effect.

Journal of the American College of Cardiology

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