U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Date of this Version


Document Type



International Journal of Cardiology 147 (2011) 438–443; doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2010.08.016


Background: There is conflicting data regarding the mortality benefit of statins in patients with heart failure. The objectives of our study were to determine whether statin therapy is associated with decreased all-cause mortality and to assess the effect of incremental duration of therapy.

Methods: We studied 10,510 consecutive patients from the Veterans Affairs health system with a diagnosis of heart failure from January 2002 through December 2006. Mean follow‐up was 2.66 years. Statin use and duration of therapy were identified. Veterans were classified into four groups based on duration of statin use during the study period (none, 1–25%, 26–75% and >75% use of statins). Logistic regression was performed to identify the association between incident statin use and all-cause mortality following a diagnosis of heart failure. The Kaplan–Meier method was employed to assess for differences in survival time between the four statin use classifications.

Results: Statin use was significantly associated with decreased all-cause mortality following a diagnosis of heart failure after controlling for age, gender, concurrent medications and comorbid diagnoses [χ⅔ (N=10,510)=1077.82, p < 0.001]. The benefit was seen within a relatively short duration (within 1 year) after starting statins, and in patients with < 25% use of statins, there was no mortality benefit.

Conclusion: Veterans who were not exposed to statin therapy at any time during the study period were 1.56 times more likely to suffer all–cause mortality.