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Statins in High-Risk Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Outpatients: No Impact on Time to First Exacerbation and All-Cause Mortality – The STATUETTE Cohort Study

Authors Damkjær M, Håkansson K, Kallemose T, Ulrik CS, Godtfredsen N

Received 9 December 2020

Accepted for publication 7 February 2021

Published 5 March 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 579—589


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Mathias Damkjær,1 Kjell Håkansson,1 Thomas Kallemose,2 Charlotte Suppli Ulrik,1,3 Nina Godtfredsen1,3

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital Amager and Hvidovre, Hvidovre, Denmark; 2Clinical Research Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital Amager and Hvidovre, Hvidovre, Denmark; 3Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Correspondence: Nina Godtfredsen
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hvidovre Hospital, Kettegård Allé 30, Hvidovre, 2650, Denmark
Email [email protected]

Background: Statins have, due to their anti-inflammatory properties, been suggested to potentially improve chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) outcomes. We aimed to investigate the effect of statins on time to first exacerbation and all-cause mortality in high-risk COPD outpatients.
Methods: All outpatients with COPD seen at the Department of Respiratory Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital Amager and Hvidovre, Denmark in 2016 were identified and followed for 3.5 years in this retrospective, registry-based cohort study of time to first acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) or death. AECOPD was defined as a rescue course of oral corticosteroid and/or hospital admission. The association was estimated using time-varying crude and multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression.
Results: The cohort comprised 950 COPD outpatients, mean (SD) age 71 (11) years, and FEV1 44% predicted (IQR 33%; 57%). The annual exacerbation rate was 0.88 (1.68) and 211 patients (22%) had a history of hospital admission for AECOPD in the 12 months prior to index date. Three hundred and ninety-three patients (41.4%) were defined as statin users, with 131 (33.3%) having filled the first prescription for statin after index date. Statin use was not associated with reduced risk of AECOPD. When stratifying for moderate and severe exacerbations in a sub-analysis in the same model, statin use did not have an increased HR for exacerbation of either severity (HR = 1.02 (95% CI 0.85to 1.24; p = 0.811) and HR = 1.07 (95% CI 0.89 to 1.29; p = 0.492) respectively). Statin use was not associated with all-cause mortality (HR 1.05 (95% CI, 0.75 to 1.47, p = 0.777)).
Conclusion: We did not find any association between statin use and risk of AECOPD or all-cause mortality. The result adds to the evidence that an aggressive approach with statin treatment upfront is not beneficial in COPD, unless prescribed according to current guidelines for cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, exacerbations, statins, mortality

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