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Scientists Discover Previously Unknown Simvastatin Effect

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Utica, NYScientists at the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory in Utica, New York, recently discovered a potential benefit of simvastatin in suppressing the occurrence of some forms of abnormal heart rhythms, reports WKTV, a local NBC affiliate.

Simvastatin, a statin used to treat high levels of cholesterol, had previously been linked to rhabdomyolysis, which is a condition that causes cells in muscles to break down, according to the Mayo Clinic.

However, the recent study, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, indicates that simvastatin could actually have a positive impact in patients who have certain types of cardiac arrhythmias.

The study, led by senior author Dr. Charles Antzelevitch, suggests for the first time that simvastatin and other statins could hinder the development of certain triggers of atrial fibrillation, which affects more than 2.6 million Americans, according to the news source.

Still, Antzelevitch reminded patients that "the drugs have not been without problems, in that statins have been linked to a relatively rare but serious muscle weakness."

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