Utica, NY (WIBX) - A study at the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory in Utica has found a previously unrecognized effect of simvastatin, an ability to supress some forms of an abnormal heart rhytms.

Statin drugs are commonly used to treat high levels of low-density LDL and total cholesterol.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found an ability to supress triggers responsible for the genesis of atrial fibrillation, which is the most common from of cardiac arrhythmia, affecting 2.66 million Americans, according to MMRL.

"We were actually very suprised when we did observe a direct effect," saidDr. Serge Sicouri, lead author of the study. 

Dr Sicouri says further study is needed to examine the drug alone and in combination with other medications.