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:6/26/2017)... ... June 26, 2017 , ... ... and consumers are seeing lots of red these days. According to recent estimates, ... that result from medical coding errors(1). Some studies point to Electronic Health Records ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... June 26, 2017 , ... New patients with missing ... Cotey, with or without a referral. Dr. Cotey is a trusted dentist who has ... tooth replacement option. , Patients with missing teeth in Fitchburg, WI, are encouraged to ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... Create a feel-good lyric music video in Final Cut ... sound in the timeline and write in the lyrics to any song. ProLyric flies in ... Each line of the text can be added modularly for optimal control. ProLyric makes editing ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... ... An increase in wetter weather in the Northern California area naturally means ... humdinger of an allergy season. A relief from drought conditions is most welcome, but ... weed pollen. , “Our patients have been reporting the typical allergy season symptoms, ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... ... a heatwave currently bearing down on Northern California pushing temperatures to the maximum, many people ... easy with laser hair removal. , The process of summer waxing and constantly shaving ... you want to do is get out, dive in and cool off. There is a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/16/2017)... , June 16, 2017  Exactly 50 years ago ... off what later became known as the San Francisco "Summer ... ) is unveiling two radical innovations in strategic market research ... This announcement marks the beginning of Northern Light,s "Summer of ... ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 14, 2017  In 2016, ... Creative Startups pitch competition and came away with ... platform is described by Forbes as "entering the life ... Medical Association as teaching "empathy to medical professionals in ... startup was recently named a finalist for the Department ...
(Date:6/11/2017)... and Company (NYSE: LLY ) announced today ... an investigational treatment for the prevention of episodic and ... endpoints for galcanezumab compared to placebo at both studied ... REGAIN) will be presented today at the American Headache ... . "The detailed Phase 3 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: