Abstract Title:

Might the beneficial effects of statin drugs be related to their action on iron metabolism?

Abstract Source:

QJM. 2012 Oct 24. Epub 2012 Oct 24. PMID: 23097387

Abstract Author(s):

L Mascitelli, M R Goldstein

Article Affiliation:

From the Comando Brigata alpina"Julia", Medical Service, 8 Via S. Agostino, Udine 33100, Italy and NCH Healthcare Group, 1845 Veterans Park Drive, Suite 110, Naples, FL 34109, USA.


Although the cholesterol-heart hypothesis is often regarded as a dogmatic belief, controversy continues to surround the aetiology and pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In fact, lowering cholesterol with statin drugs has been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk. However, statins have pleiotropic effects independent of their capacity to lower cholesterol. We highlight that statin drugs exert an important action on iron metabolism, which in turn may prevent progression and destabilization of atherosclerotic plaque. If it is found that the effect of statins on iron metabolism is a mechanism of their beneficial action, this consequence of statin use can be clinically replicated by other methods, such as controlled reduction of body iron stores. This might allow the use of lower doses or even obviate the use of statins in primary cardiovascular prevention, and therefore avoid the side effects and expense of these drugs.

Study Type : Review

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