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:5/5/2016)... ... , ... Einstein Medical is proud to announce that it has ... commentary at the 2016 ASCRS/ASOA Symposium and Congress, which takes place in New Orleans, ... Refractive Surgery and the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrations will be held at the ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Spring Fertility , ... IVF and with egg freezing, today announced the grand opening of its first ... fertility care, Spring Fertility offers both fertility preservation (egg, sperm, embryo, and testicular ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... United ... & Smoak Benefits as the latest addition to its family of Partner Firms. ... team of compliance, wellness, human resources, and health care consumerism specialists. , “Partnering ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... CO (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... the commencement of a master charity program created to assist the people of ... days, working closely with nonprofit organizations and community leaders. Their hope is to ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... agency’s ongoing community enrichment program serving families of greater Dubuque, IA. The current ... duty, reserve and honorably discharged veterans. Donations to Veteran’s Freedom Center may now ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/5/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... USA"  report to their offering.  ,     (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ... Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner and cyclotron install base ... with the current known number of PET scanners and ... report also contains a detailed breakdown of this equipment ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... , May 5, 2016 ... addition of the  "Europe Thalassaemia Market and ... their offering.       (Logo: ... Europe Thalassaemia Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights ... pipeline products, Thalassaemia epidemiology, Thalassaemia market valuations ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... upgrade. There are many medical recorders on the market but none like this. Through ...  offers unparalleled connectivity and functionality.  Ampronix  is a renowned authorized reseller of the medical ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160503/363416 ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: