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BMC Pulmonary Medicine

, 9:32

First Online: 12 July 2009Received: 20 November 2008Accepted: 12 July 2009


BackgroundStatins have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties which could possibly influence inflammatory airways disease. We assessed evidence for disease modifying effects of statin treatment in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD.

MethodsA systematic review was conducted of studies which reported effects of statin treatment in COPD. Data sources searched included MEDLINE, EMBASE and reference lists.

ResultsEight papers reporting nine original studies met the selection criteria. One was a randomized controlled trial RCT, one a retrospective nested case-control study, five were retrospective cohort studies of which one was linked with a case-control study, and one was a retrospective population-based analysis. Outcomes associated with treatment with statins included decreased all-cause mortality in three out of four studies OR-HR 0.48–0.67 in three studies, OR 0.99 in one study, decreased COPD-related mortality OR 0.19–0.29, reduction in incidence of respiratory-related urgent care OR 0.74, fewer COPD exacerbations OR 0.43, fewer intubations for COPD exacerbations OR 0.1 and attenuated decline in pulmonary function. The RCT reported improvement in exercise capacity and dyspnea after exercise associated with decreased levels of C-reactive protein and Interleukin-6 in statin users, but no improvement of lung function.

ConclusionThere is evidence from observational studies and one RCT that statins may reduce morbidity and-or mortality in COPD patients. Further interventional studies are required to confirm these findings.

AbbreviationsCOPDchronic obstructive pulmonary disease

CRPC-reactive protein

EDEmergency Department

FEV1forced expiratory volume in 1 second

FVCforced vital capacity

HRHazard ratio

hs-CRPhigh-sensitivity C-reactive protein

OROdds ratio

RCTRandomized controlled trial

RRRisk Ratio.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2466-9-32 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Claudia C Dobler - Keith K Wong - Guy B Marks


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