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COPD. 2011 Apr;8(2):96-102. doi: 10.3109/15412555.2011.558545.

Statin therapy is associated with decreased pulmonary vascular pressures in severe COPD.

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  • 1University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.



Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in COPD carries a poor prognosis. Statin therapy has been associated with numerous beneficial clinical effects in COPD, including a possible improvement in PH. We examined the association between statin use and pulmonary hemodynamics in a well-characterized cohort of patients undergoing evaluation for lung transplantation.


We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 112 subjects evaluated for lung transplant with a diagnosis of COPD. Clinical characteristics, pulmonary function, cardiac catheterization findings and medical comorbidities were compared between statins users and non-users.


Thirty-four (30%) subjects were receiving statin therapy. Statin users were older and had an increased prevalence of systemic hypertension and coronary artery disease (CAD). Mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) in the statin group was lower [26 ± 7 vs 29 ± 7 mmHg, p = 0.02], as was pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWP) [12 ± 5 vs. 15 ± 6 mmHg, p = 0.02]. Pulmonary vascular resistance did not differ between the groups. In multiple regression analysis, statin use was associated with a 4.2 mmHg (95% CI: 2 to 6.4, p = <0.001) lower PAWP and a 2.6 mmHg (95% CI: 0.3 to 4.9, p = 0.03) reduction in mPAP independent of PAWP.


In patients with severe COPD, statin use is associated with significantly lower PAWP and mPAP. These finding should be evaluated prospectively.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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