Background: Statins have pleiotropic effects, with potential clinical applications beyond their lipid-lowering effect. We hypothesized that statins could inhibit airway inflammation. The aim of our study was to determine whether statin use may reduce hospitalization in patients with asthma.
Materials and methods: We conducted a nationwide population-based study to investigate the possible influence of statin use on patients with asthma using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database.
Results: A total of 3965 patients with asthma (mean age 60·69 ± 0·39 years, male 41·3%) who received statins after asthma diagnosis were identified from the 1 000 000 sampling cohort data set between January 2000 and December 2007. Another 7843 patients with asthma who were matched for age, gender and medication for asthma treatment but did not use statin were enrolled as the control group. The patients with statin use had more hypertension (P < 0·001), diabetes mellitus (P < 0·001), coronary artery disease (P < 0·001), dysrhythmia (P = 0·001) and chronic kidney disease (P < 0·001) than patients without statin use. Till the end of 2007, there were 974 patients who were hospitalized because of asthma. After multivariate analysis, only increasing age (hazard ratio, 1·02; 95% confidence interval, 1·02-1·03, P < 0·001) and statin use (hazard ratio, 0·82; 95% confidence interval, 0·71-0·95, P = 0·006) were independently associated with the decreased risk of hospitalization for asthma.
Conclusions: Statin use is associated with reduced hospitalization for asthma attack in patients with asthma, suggesting possible applications of statin in patients with asthma.
© 2010 The Authors. European Journal of Clinical Investigation © 2010 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.