Preoperative Statins and Limb Salvage After Lower Extremity Revascularization in the Medicare Population
Background—Statins stabilize atherosclerotic plaque, decrease mortality after surgical procedures, and are linked to anti-inflammatory effects. The objective of this study was to evaluate preoperative administration of statins and longitudinal limb salvage after lower extremity endovascular revascularization and lower extremity open surgery.
Methods and Results—Patients were selected from 2007 to 2008 Medicare claims using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification, diagnosis codes for claudication (N=8128), rest pain (N=3056), and ulceration/gangrene (N=11 770) and Current Procedural Terminology codes for endovascular revascularization (N=14 353) and open surgery (N=8601). Half (N=11 687) were identified as statin users before revascularization using Part D files. Amputations were identified using Current Procedural Terminology codes. Statin users compared with nonusers had lower amputation rates at 30 days (11.5% versus 14.4%; P<0.0001), 90 days (15.5% versus 19.3%; P<0.0001), and 1 year (20.9% versus 25.6%; P<0.0001). Survival analysis demonstrated improved limb salvage during 1 year for statin users compared with nonusers for the diagnosis of claudication (P=0.003), a similar trend for rest pain (P=0.061), and no improvement for ulceration/gangrene (P=0.65).
Conclusions—Preoperative statins were associated with improved 1-year limb salvage after lower extremity revascularization. The strongest association was found for patients with the diagnosis of claudication. Statins seem to be underused among Medicare patients with peripheral artery disease. Further evaluation of the use of preoperative statins and the potential benefits for peripheral vascular interventions is warranted.
- Received February 19, 2013.
- Accepted November 12, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.