Background: The purpose of our study was to examine the association of prior outpatient use of statins and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors on mortality for subjects >or= 65 years of age hospitalized with acute COPD exacerbations.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective national cohort study using Veterans Affairs administrative data including subjects >or=65 years of age hospitalized with a COPD exacerbation. Our primary analysis was a multilevel model with the dependent variable of 90-day mortality and hospital as a random effect, controlling for preexisting comorbid conditions, demographics, and other medications prescribed.
Results: We identified 11,212 subjects with a mean age of 74.0 years, 98% were male, and 12.4% of subjects died within 90-days of hospital presentation. In this cohort, 20.3% of subjects were using statins, 32.0% were using ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB). After adjusting for potential confounders, current statin use (odds ratio 0.51, 95% confidence interval 0.40-0.64) and ACE inhibitor/ARB use (0.55, 0.46-0.66) were significantly associated with decreased 90-day mortality.
Conclusion: Use of statins and ACE inhibitors prior to admission is associated with decreased mortality in subjects hospitalized with a COPD exacerbation. Randomized controlled trials are needed to examine whether the use of these medications are protective for those patients with COPD exacerbations.