Navigation Links
Statins don't lower risk of pneumonia in elderly
Date:6/16/2009

SEATTLE Taking popular cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, such as Lipitor (atorvastatin), does not lower the risk of pneumonia. That's the new finding from a study of more than 3,000 Group Health patients published online on June 16 in advance of the British Medical Journal's June 20 print issue.

"Prior research based on automated claims data had raised some hopeand maybe some hypefor statins as a way to prevent and treat infections including pneumonia," said Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, a physician at Group Health and assistant investigator at Group Health Center for Health Studies. "But when we used medical records to get more detailed information about patients, our findings didn't support that approach."

In fact, Dublin's population-based case-control study found that pneumonia risk was, if anything, slightly higher (26%) in people using a statin than in those not using any; and this extra risk was even higher (61%) for pneumonia severe enough to require being hospitalized.

"As a doctor, I'm a fan of statins for what they've been proven to do: lowering cholesterol and risk of heart disease and stroke in people who've had either disease or are at risk for them," said Dublin. Statins are HMG coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, which also include Zocor (simvastatin) and Mevacor (lovastatin). This class of medications lessens inflammation, which plays a role in infections.

"But now we and some others have found that statins may have gotten some unearned credit for health benefits that they don't actually have, including preventing pneumonia," Dublin said.

Suggestions from prior research had led to calls for expensive randomized controlled trials of statins to prevent or treat infection. "But our study indicates that such trials would be an ill-advised use of limited research funds at this time," she added.

Why the discrepancy between this new study and earlier ones? "Healthy-user bias is one reason," said Dublin. In other words, compared to people who don't take statins, those who do may be healthier and have healthier habits that lower their risks of unrelated diseases such as pneumonia. And that's just what she found: Study patients who were on statins were less frail or disabled and also more likely to be vaccinated against flu or pneumococcal pneumonia. They were less likely to smoke, to have dementia, or to need help with bathing or walking.

Unlike the previous research on statins and pneumonia, Dublin's study made great efforts to control for this bias, including reviewing medical records in detail for every study subject. It confirmed that every pneumonia event was a true case of pneumonia, which prior studies rarely did. And it focused on relatively healthy elderly people. All had intact immune systems and none lived in a nursing home. She studied the same 65- to 94-year-old patients, with their records coded to protect their privacy, as in earlier Group Health research, published in The Lancet in 2008. That work showed the flu vaccine didn't protect the elderly from pneumonia as much as had been thought.

"We did an old-fashioned 'chart review,'" said Dublin. "By reading the text in the medical records, you catch crucial details."


'/>"/>

Contact: Rebecca Hughes
hughes.r@ghc.org
206-287-2055
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Stopping Statins After Stroke Doubles Death Risk
2. Research to shed new light on how statins benefit heart patients
3. Statins reduce loss of function, keeping old lungs young - even in smokers
4. Better Prostate Cancer Survival for Men Taking Statins
5. Statins After Bypass Lower Stroke Risk
6. Latest Study Says Statins Dont Slow Alzheimers
7. New Gene-Based Therapy an Alternative to Vytorin and Statins in Heart Disease Prevention and Treatment
8. Tendon complications, though rare, linked to statins
9. Cholesterol-Lowering Statins Tied to Tendon Woes
10. Women are treated less frequently than men with statins, aspirin and beta-blockers
11. iGuard.org Presents New Data on Statins at FDA Workshop Demonstrating How Patient-Reported Information Can Enhance Drug Safety Knowledge
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... W.S. Badger ... announced today that it has been recognized as one of the best small businesses ... was named as one of nine small businesses providing progressive benefits to new parents ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... with Mediaplanet to help educate the many who are unaware of the plight ... to aphasia will run within the “Stroke Awareness” campaign. , The link between ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... in the pharmaceutical, medical and food industries. Aside from its GMP accreditation, Validation ... providing proof of successfully certified products, services and staff. , Validation Center is ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Intalere, ... members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at the Paris Hotel in ... elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , The conference was highlighted ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Cardiac arrhythmia ... negative impact on long-term patient survival, reports a team of UPMC researchers in ... week in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, provide critical information that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... May 25, 2016 According to ... Type (3D, 2D, 4D), by Therapeutic Area (Oncology, Cosmeceutical/Plastic ... User (Medical Device Manufacturers, Hospitals/ Clinics) - Forecast to ... Medical Animation Market for the forecast period of 2016 ... 301.3 Million by 2021 from USD 117.3 Million in ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... 25, 2016 According to market ... Growth and Demand Forecast to 2022 - Industry Insights ... Others)" published by P&S Market Research, the global insulin ... 2015, and it is expected to grow at a ... insulin pump segment is expected to witness the fastest ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... England , May 25, 2016 ... company employing the precision of circulating tumour DNA ... today announces the appointment of Professor Clive ... provide medical leadership across the clinical development programme, ... Inivata,s products help deliver significant improvements in clinical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: