Background: Studies suggest that statins decrease mortality in COPD patients but it is unknown which patients might benefit most.
Objectives: We investigated whether statins were associated with reduced mortality in COPD patients and whether effects differed according to baseline high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) concentration, a marker of systemic inflammation.
Methods: This nested case-control study was part of the Rotterdam Study, a prospective population-based cohort study among 7983 subjects ≥ 55 years. Using automated pharmacy records, we evaluated statin use of 363 cases (COPD patients who died during follow-up of 17 years) with 2345 age and sex matched controls (COPD patients who survived the follow-up period of the index case).
Results: Compared to never use, long-term statin use (>2 years) was associated with a 39% decreased risk of death in COPD patients. Stratified according to the level of systemic inflammation, long-term statin use was associated with a 78% reduced mortality if hsCRP level > 3 mg/L, versus a non significant 21% reduced mortality if hsCRP level ≤ 3 mg/L.
Conclusions: Statin use is associated with a beneficial effect on all-cause mortality in COPD, depending on the baseline level of systemic inflammation.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.