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Eur Respir J. 2007 Feb;29(2):279-83. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Statin use is associated with reduced mortality in COPD.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Akershus University Hospital, N-1478-Lørenskog, Norway.


Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have an increased risk of ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Statins reduce mortality and morbidity in IHD. It has been hypothesised that statin treatment is associated with reduced long-term mortality in patients with COPD. Using a retrospective cohort design, 854 consecutive patients (mean age 70.8 yrs; 51.5% female) with a diagnosis of COPD exacerbation were included in the study at discharge from a Norwegian teaching hospital. Median follow-up was 1.9 yrs, during which 333 patients died. The crude mortality rate per 1,000 person-yrs was 110 in patients treated with statins, and 191 in patients not treated with statins. After adjustment for sex, age, smoking, pulmonary function and comorbidities, the hazard ratio (HR) for statin users versus statin nonusers was 0.57 (95% confidence interval 0.38-0.87). When subdividing statin users and statin nonusers into groups according to concomitant treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) the following HRs were found: 0.75 (0.58-0.98) for ICS only; 0.69 (0.36-1.3) for statins only; and 0.39 (0.22-0.67) for the combined treatment with statin and ICS compared with no such treatment. Treatment with statins was associated with improved survival after chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation, while inhaled corticosteroids appeared to increase the survival benefit associated with statin use.

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