Statins Do Not Lower the Risk of COPD Exacerbation, Finds Study

Pavankumar Kamat

Disclosures

December 17, 2021

Takeaway

Why this matters

  • Findings suggest that statins should not be prescribed in routine primary care to reduce exacerbations in patients with COPD without other indications.

Study design

  • A retrospective cohort study included 48,124 patients with COPD (age, >40 years) who had not been prescribed statins in the previous year, identified from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (2007-2017).

  • Primary outcomes: COPD exacerbation and severe exacerbation requiring hospitalisation.

  • Secondary outcomes: death from any cause and urinary tract infection (UTI).

  • Funding: National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research.

Key results

  • Statin use vs no use was not associated with a lower risk of (adjusted HR [aHR]; 95% CI):

    • first exacerbation (1.01; 0.96-1.06; P=0.657); and

    • recurrent exacerbation (1.00; 0.97-1.04; P=0.885).

  • Statin use vs no use was associated with a marginally lower risk of severe exacerbation requiring hospitalisation (aHR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.84-0.99; P=0.034); and

  • Statin use vs no use was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause (aHR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.76-0.92; P<0.001).

  • Statin use vs no use was associated with an increased risk of UTI, but the risk was not statically significant (aHR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.98-1.23; P=0.112).

Limitations

  • Retrospective design.

  • Risk of residual confounding.

Smith MC, Ashdown HF, Sheppard JP, Butler CC, Bankhead C. Statin prescription in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and risk of exacerbations: a retrospective cohort study in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. BMJ Open. 2021;11(12):e050757. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050757. PMID: 34876426  View Full Text.

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