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Statins confer all-cause, pulmonary-related mortality benefits

20 May 2017

Use of statins may reduce all-cause and pulmonary-related mortality in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a study has shown.

The population-based cohort study included 39,678 COPD patients from the province of British Columbia in Canada. Statin exposure was established in the 12-month period after diagnosis. All-cause and pulmonary-related mortality, the respective primary and secondary outcomes, were evaluated in the 1-year period after exposure ascertainment.

Of the patients, 19.6 percent (n=7,775) had received at least one statin dispensed during the exposure ascertainment window. In the 1-year period after the window, a total of 1,446 all-cause deaths were recorded within the cohort.

Multivariate analysis found statin exposure to be associated with a 21-percent reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.79; 95 percent CI, 0.67 to 0.92; p=0.0016). The result was similar for pulmonary-related mortality, with statin exposure showing a protective effect (HR, 0.55; 0.32 to 0.93; p=0.02454). These associations persisted across different measures of statin exposure.

The present data suggest that there may be a specific subtype of COPD patients that could benefit from statin use, researchers said, explaining that statin’s impact on mortality may be attributed to the drug’s pleiotropic effects and known disease-modifying effects on cardiovascular comorbidities. [Chest 2009;136:376–380; COPD 2015;12:560–567]

Affecting around 380 million people globally, COPD is characterized by progressive airflow limitation and inflammation. Comorbidities associated with the disease are an important aspect of the respiratory disease. Specifically, cardiovascular disease has been shown to be more than two times more prevalent in patients with COPD than in the general population. Moreover, the risk of CVD-related mortality may increase as the severity of the COPD worsens.  This indicates that all-cause mortality has largely become the most relevant metric for outcomes in COPD patients. [Respirology 2016;21:697–704; Lancet Respir Med 2015;3:631–639; Eur Respir J 2006;28:1245–1257; Ann Epidemiol 2006;16:63–70; CHEST J 2005;128:2068–2075]

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Most Read Articles
15 Apr 2016
Addition of digoxin to an ACE inhibitor lessens heart failure (HF) hospitalisation in HF patients with reduced ejection fraction, regardless of diabetes status, as presented in an analysis of the Digitalis Investigation Group trial.
08 Sep 2017
Prediagnostic statin exposure appears to be associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer-specific mortality, with the survival benefit being more pronounced in women with oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumours, according to a study.
01 Sep 2017
Complementary medicines can play an important part in maintaining wellness, preventing deficiencies and optimizing health outcomes, says Dr Lesley Braun PhD, Director of the Blackmores Institute. 
06 Aug 2017
A recent study has shown the safety, efficacy and tolerance of fluoxetine for hypochondriasis. Moreover, joint treatment with both fluoxetine and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) confers a small incremental benefit over a single active treatment.