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Temple-led study finds no benefit in taking statin drugs for COPD exacerbation prevention
Date:5/18/2014

g the morbidity and mortality associated with acute COPD exacerbations.

"That turns out not to be the case," Dr. Criner said. "This study suggests that statins' purported non-cholesterol-lowering anti-inflammatory effects do not extend to COPD."

The study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, was carried out at 45 sites in the U.S. and Canada, with Temple leading the way in the number of enrolled participants. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research also provided funding for the Canadian clinical centers. Of the study's 877 participants, 430 took 40 mg. daily of simvastatin, a common statin drug used to prevent heart attack and stroke, and 447 took a daily placebo, or dummy pill. They were followed for at least 12 months, and some as long as 36 months.

The study enrolled patients with moderate to severe COPD who were not taking statins for other medical indications. Volunteers, ranging in age 40 to 80, were current or former smokers, and met one of the following other criteria: they used oxygen supplementation either currently or in the past, they were prescribed systemic corticosteroids and or antibiotics in the past year, or had been at the ER or hospitalized with a flare-up in the past year. The study excluded patients with diabetes or coronary heart disease, as well as patients who were not taking a statin drug but should have been because of their cardiovascular risk profile.

The study's primary outcomes measure was the rate of exacerbation, defined as the number of exacerbation events per participant year. Secondary outcome measures included time to first exacerbation, severity of exacerbations, quality of life and changes in lung function as measured by spirometry. Study participants, who all continued with their usual COPD treatment and care, were tracked throughout the study by clinic visits every three months and monthly phone calls.

Among the findi
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Contact: Jeremy Walter
Jeremy.Walter@tuhs.temple.edu
215-707-7882
Temple University Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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