Statin use associated with lower risk of pyogenic liver abscess

Roshini Claire Anthony
23 Feb 2017

The use of statins is associated with a lower risk of pyogenic liver abscess, according to a Taiwan population-based case-control study.

Individuals currently taking statins have a 35 percent reduced risk of pyogenic liver abscess, said Dr Kuan-Fu Liao from the Department of Internal Medicine, Taichung Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan who presented the findings at the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver annual meeting (APASL 2017) in Shanghai, China.

Current (≤3 months of pyogenic liver abscess diagnosis) and recent statin use (within 3–6 months of diagnosis) were associated with a lower risk of pyogenic liver abscess compared with never-users (adjusted odds ratio [adjOR], 0.65, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.50–0.84 and adjOR, 0.74, 95 percent CI, 0.49–1.11, respectively). Individuals who used statins >6 months prior to diagnosis (past users) had an elevated risk of abscess (adjOR, 1.10, 95 percent CI, 0.90–1.34). [APASL 2017, abstract PL006]

Type of statin had little effect on the risk of pyogenic liver abscess, with atorvastatin (adjOR,0.64), fluvastatin (adjOR, 0.58), lovastatin (adjOR, 0.59), pravastatin (adjOR, 0.56), rosuvastatin (adjOR, 0.61), and simvastatin (adjOR, 0.94) having similar effects.

A longer duration of statin use (≥12 months) was associated with a reduced risk of pyogenic liver abscess (adjOR, 0.63 and 0.68 for individuals on an average daily dose of <15 and ≥15mg, respectively).

To determine if prior statin use correlated with a reduced risk of pyogenic liver abscess, researchers obtained data of individuals aged 20–84 years (n=1,828) from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Program with a first episode of pyogenic liver abscess between 2000 and 2013 and compared them with 1,828 controls. Subjects were divided into 4 categories: current, recent, and past statin users and never-users (no prescribed statins). Median age of subjects was 61.3 and 64 years for the case and control group, respectively.

Due to the observational nature of the study, Liao cautioned that it could not be determined if the participants had actually taken the statins prescribed. Furthermore, lack of information on serum cholesterol levels meant that the researchers could not identify a possible association between cholesterol levels and pyogenic liver abscess.


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