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Lack of atorvastatin protective effect against atrial fibrillation in CETP TaqIB2B2 genotype

There has been some evidence for a role of statins in reducing the risk of atrial fibrillation, but the response to statin treatment varies considerably due to environmental and genetic factors. One of these is related to CETP expression.

So we assessed whether CETP TaqIB polymorphism influences atrial fibrillation occurrence after treatment with statins.

200 unrelated dyslipidemic Caucasian patients (146 men and 54 women; mean age 75±8) from Salento (Southern Italy), assigned to atorvastatin treatment,  and 158 normolipidemic subjects (119 men and 39 women; mean age 75±11), selected from the same ward, were enrolled. All patients were followed at six-month intervals. CETP TaqIB polymorphism was genotyped by RFLP-PCR.

During a mean follow-up time of 71±6 months, 64 patients (32%) of the group treated with atorvastatin and 70 subjects (44%) of the group without atorvastatin experienced at least one episode of AF, with a statistically significant difference (p = 0,0208) between the two groups. No significant differences were observed between the two groups with regard to demographic and echocardiographic data, to clinical history and pharmacological treatment. While in patients not assuming atorvastatin there was no significant difference (p = 1) between TaqIB genotype and atrial fibrillation occurence, in subjects treated with atorvastatin B2B2 genotype was more frequent in patients with atrial fibrillation (p = 0,0001). According to these data the subjects with the B2B2 genotype seem to be more susceptible to atrial fibrillation development (RR 2,74; IC 95% 1,92-3,90; p<0.025).

Our data seem to provide a further evidence for the hypothesis that statins may have adverse effect in subjects with genetically low CETP levels. Because statins reduce CETP activity up to 30%, we hypothesize that such CETP activity reduction by statins, in patients with low CETP levels induced by polymorphism, may counteract the beneficial effect of statins on atrial fibrillation.

Credits: Francesca Galati; Antonio Galati; Serafina Massari

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