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Respir Res. 2009 Jun 3;10:45. doi: 10.1186/1465-9921-10-45.

Impact of statins and ACE inhibitors on mortality after COPD exacerbations.

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VERDICT research unit, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, San Antonio, Texas, USA.



The purpose of our study was to examine the association of prior outpatient use of statins and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors on mortality for subjects >or= 65 years of age hospitalized with acute COPD exacerbations.


We conducted a retrospective national cohort study using Veterans Affairs administrative data including subjects >or=65 years of age hospitalized with a COPD exacerbation. Our primary analysis was a multilevel model with the dependent variable of 90-day mortality and hospital as a random effect, controlling for preexisting comorbid conditions, demographics, and other medications prescribed.


We identified 11,212 subjects with a mean age of 74.0 years, 98% were male, and 12.4% of subjects died within 90-days of hospital presentation. In this cohort, 20.3% of subjects were using statins, 32.0% were using ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB). After adjusting for potential confounders, current statin use (odds ratio 0.51, 95% confidence interval 0.40-0.64) and ACE inhibitor/ARB use (0.55, 0.46-0.66) were significantly associated with decreased 90-day mortality.


Use of statins and ACE inhibitors prior to admission is associated with decreased mortality in subjects hospitalized with a COPD exacerbation. Randomized controlled trials are needed to examine whether the use of these medications are protective for those patients with COPD exacerbations.

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