Statins and associated risk of pneumonia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies
ABSTRACT Statins have potential anti-inflammatory effects, but the association between statin use and lower incidence of pneumonia is unclear. We have therefore performed a systematic review on the risk of pneumonia in statin users versus non-users.
MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched in December 2010 for controlled observational studies that reported on the risk of pneumonia in statin users. We performed a random effects meta-analysis and assessed heterogeneity using the I² statistic.
A total of 451 citations were screened, and ultimately nine studies (4 case-control, 4 retrospective cohort, 1 prospective cohort) with more than 3 million participants were included in the meta-analysis. Pooled analysis of seven studies that reported unadjusted data failed to show a significantly reduced risk of pneumonia [odds ratio (OR) 0.94, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.84-1.06, p = 0.33, I² = 79%] in statin users as compared to non-users. However, a significant reduction in the likelihood of pneumonia associated with statin use (n = 8 studies, OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.75-0.97, p = 0.02, I² = 81%) was found in the meta-analysis of adjusted data. Both analyses were limited by substantial statistical heterogeneity. Sensitivity analysis failed to fully clarify the source of heterogeneity, but cohort studies seemed to be less heterogenous (n = 5 studies, OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.84-1.01, I² = 43%).
Our findings indicate that the purported benefit of statins in preventing pneumonia is inconsistent, and of low magnitude, with upper bounds of the confidence interval being close to null. In view of the substantial statistical and clinical heterogeneity in the dataset, there is no convincing evidence to support the therapeutic application of statins for reducing the risk of pneumonia.
- European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 12/2011; 68(5):889-90. DOI:10.1007/s00228-011-1190-5 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Emerging epidemiological evidence suggests that statins may reduce the risk of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and its complications. Performed a systematic review to address the role of statins in the prevention or treatment of CAP. Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science, and Scopus from inception through December 2011 were searched for randomized clinical trials, cohort and case-control studies. Two authors independently reviewed studies that examined the role of statins in CAP. Data about study characteristics, adjusted effect-estimates and quality characteristics was extracted. Eighteen studies corresponding to 21 effect-estimates (eight and 13 of which addressed the preventive and therapeutic roles of statins, respectively) were included. All studies were of good methodological quality. Random-effects meta-analyses of adjusted effect-estimates were used. Statins were associated with a lower risk of CAP, 0.84 (95% CI, 0.74-0.95), I(2) = 90.5% and a lower short-term mortality in patients with CAP, 0.68 (95% CI, 0.59-0.78), I(2) = 75.7%. Meta-regression did not identify sources of heterogeneity. A funnel plot suggested publication bias in the treatment group, which was adjusted by a novel regression method with a resultant effect-estimate of 0.85 (95% CI, 0.77-0.93). Sensitivity analyses using the rule-out approach showed that it is unlikely that the results were due to an unmeasured confounder. Our meta-analysis reveals a beneficial role of statins for the risk of development and mortality associated with CAP. However, the results constitute very low quality evidence as per the GRADE framework due to observational study design, heterogeneity and publication bias.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e52929. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0052929 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Statins not only reduce levels of LDL-cholesterol, they counteract the inflammatory changes associated with acute coronary syndrome and improve survival. Similarly, in patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed seasonal influenza, statin treatment is associated with a 41% reduction in 30-day mortality. Most patients of any age who are at increased risk of influenza mortality have chronic low-grade inflammation characteristic of metabolic syndrome. Moreover, differences in the immune responses of children and adults seem responsible for the low mortality in children and high mortality in adults seen in the 1918 influenza pandemic and in other acute infectious and non-infectious conditions. These differences probably reflect human evolutionary development. Thus the host response to influenza seems to be the major determinant of outcome. Outpatient statins are associated with reductions in hospitalizations and deaths due to sepsis and pneumonia. Inpatient statins are also associated with reductions in short-term pneumonia mortality. Other immunomodulatory agents - ACE inhibitors (ACEIs), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), PPARγ and PPARα agonists (glitazones and fibrates) and AMPK agonists (metformin) - also reduce mortality in patients with pneumonia (ACEIs, ARBs) or in mouse models of influenza (PPARγ and AMPK agonists). In experimental studies, treatment has not increased virus replication. Thus effective management of influenza may not always require targeting the virus with vaccines or antiviral agents. Clinical investigators, not systems biologists, have been the first to suggest that immunomodulatory agents might be used to treat influenza patients, but randomized controlled trials will be needed to provide convincing evidence that they work. To guide the choice of which agent(s) to study, we need new types of laboratory research in animal models and clinical and epidemiological research in patients with critical illness. These studies will have crucial implications for global public health. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, timely and affordable supplies of vaccines and antiviral agents were unavailable to more than 90% of the world's people. In contrast, statins and other immunomodulatory agents are currently produced as inexpensive generics, global supplies are huge, and they would be available to treat patients in any country with a basic health care system on the first pandemic day. Treatment with statins and other immunomodulatory agents represents a new approach to reducing mortality caused by seasonal and pandemic influenza. This article forms part of a symposium in Antiviral Research on ''Treatment of influenza: targeting the virus or the host.''Antiviral research 07/2013; 99(3). DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2013.06.018 · 3.94 Impact Factor