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J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Mar;27(3):280-6. doi: 10.1007/s11606-011-1826-2. Epub 2011 Aug 13.

Association between statins given in hospital and mortality in pneumonia patients.

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Center for Quality of Care Research, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA 01199, USA.



Statins are prescribed to lower cholesterol, but also have anti-inflammatory properties. Some observational studies suggest that statins may reduce mortality from sepsis.


Using a highly detailed administrative database, we conducted an observational cohort study of all patients aged ≥18 years who received a discharge diagnosis of pneumonia from 2003-2005 at 376 hospitals. Patients with contraindications to statins, and those unable to take oral medications or discharged within 2 days were excluded. We used multivariable logistic regression and propensity matching to compare mortality among patients who did and did not receive statins on hospital day 1 or 2.


Of the 121,254 patients who met the inclusion criteria, median age was 74; 56% were female and 70% were white; 19% received a statin on day 1 or 2. Compared to patients who did not receive statins, statin-treated patients were less likely to be admitted to intensive care (15.7% vs 18.1%, p < 0.001), require mechanical ventilation (6.9% vs. 9.3%, p < 0.001), or die in hospital (3.9% vs 5.7%, p < 0.001). After multivariable adjustment, including the propensity for statin treatment and severity at presentation, mortality was lower in statin-treated patients [OR for propensity-adjusted 0.86 (95% CI 0.79 to 0.93) OR for propensity-matched 0.90, (0.82 to 0.99)]. For patients admitted to intensive care the adjusted odds ratio for mortality with statins was 0.93 (95% CI 0.81 to 1.06), whereas outside intensive care it was 0.79 (95% CI 0.71 to 0.87).


Inpatient treatment with statins is associated with a modest reduction in pneumonia mortality outside of intensive care.

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