Advertisement

Syndicate

Physician Resources Home arrow Medical News arrow Statins associated with lower risk of death from pneumonia
Statins associated with lower risk of death from pneumonia
Written by NetDoc.com Medical News Feed   

CHICAGO—Individuals who take cholesterol-lowering statins before being hospitalized with pneumonia appear less likely to die within 90 days afterward, according to a report in the October 27 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Discuss this article on the forums. (0 posts)

 

 

In the United States and Europe, pneumonia hospitalization rates have increased 20 percent to 50 percent over the past decade, according to background information in the article. About 10 percent to 15 percent of those with pneumonia die from the disease. A recent review article indicated that statins may benefit patients with sepsis (infection of the bloodstream) or bacteremia (presence of bacteria in the bloodstream), possibly due to the medications' anti-clotting, anti-inflammatory or immune-modifying properties.

Reimar W. Thomsen, M.D., Ph.D., of Aarhus University and Aalborg Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark, and colleagues reviewed data from 29,900 adults hospitalized with pneumonia between 1997 and 2004. Of these, 1,371 (4.6 percent) were taking statins at the time.

"Mortality [death] among statin users was lower than among non-users: 10.3 percent vs. 15.7 percent after 30 days and 16.8 percent vs. 22.4 percent after 90 days," the authors write. The lowest relative death rate associated with statins was observed in patients older than 80 and those with bacteremia. "The differences became apparent during the first few weeks of hospitalization, a period associated with a high number of pneumonia-related deaths, and they increased only minimally between 30 and 90 days after admission, which suggests that statin use is beneficial primarily in the early phase of infection."

Previous statin use, or the use of any other preventive medication for cardiovascular health, was not associated with a reduced death rate from pneumonia.

"Several biological mechanisms may explain our results," the authors write. Statins change the immune response, beneficially affect processes associated with blood clotting and inflammation and inhibit dysfunction in blood vessels. These effects may especially benefit patients with sepsis and bacteremia, which are associated with early death from pneumonia.

"Our study adds to the accumulating evidence that statin use is associated with improved prognosis after severe infections," the authors write. "The decrease in mortality associated with statin use seems to be substantial in patients with pneumonia requiring hospital admission. Randomized trials are needed to examine causality of the associations found in observational studies. Given the availability of statins, with their relatively low cost and mild adverse effects, positive results of statin therapy trials in patients with pneumonia would have substantial clinical and public health implications."
(Arch Intern Med. 2008;168[19]:2081-2087. Editor's Note: This study was supported by the Western Danish Research Forum for Health Sciences and by the Clinical Epidemiological Research Foundation at Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

EDITORIAL: COMBINING STATINS AND ANTIBIOTICS MAY PROVE EFFECTIVE AGAINST INFECTION

"These data suggest a substantial decrease in mortality with statin use," writes Kasturi Haldar, Ph.D., of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend., Ind., in an accompanying editorial.

The resulting data "raises the question of whether statins should be used to improve anti-infective therapy. They are not optimal for treating acute infection because it takes days to achieve the desirable concentrations in plasma," Dr. Haldar continues.

"However, because statins target the host, drug resistance, a major problem in treating bacterial infections, is not likely to develop. Thus, it may be useful to consider clinical research testing of combinations of statins with existing antibiotic agents to evaluate whether it is possible to develop optimized combination therapies effective against both acute and persistent infections."
(Arch Intern Med. 2008;168[19]:2067-2068. Editor's Note: This editorial was supported by a Department of Veterans Affairs Merit Award, Great Lakes Research Center of Excellence and by the National Institutes of Health. Please see the article for additional information, including author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

For more information, contact JAMA/Archives media relations at 312/464-JAMA (5262) or e-mail mediarelations{at}jama-archives.org .

Discuss this article on the forums. (0 posts)

 
< Prev   Next >

Common Diseases

Swine Flu - Updates and information on H1N1 2009 (AKA Swine Influenza) pandemic.

Ankylosing spondylitis - Current protocols for diagnosis and treatment options.

Wegener granulomatosis - Autoimmune etiology and clinical course.

Diabetes - disease and management information, including diagnosis, typical treatment plans and diabetes supplies.

Advertisement

Medical Careers

The US medical jobs market has stayed hot for health care providers. Whether you believe that a provider shortage is in the offing or that the ratio of physicians-to-patients is too high, physician jobs and nursing jobs abound.

A wide variety of medical jobs can be found in the netdoc health care job listings. Particular strengths include permanent and locum tenens physician jobs, nursing jobs across the US, and radiology positions.

Other resources include physician salary information, medical career guidance, and the ability to post physician jobs.

Polls

When hiring your medical practice office manager, what was the most important consideration?
 
Copyright 2005 - 2019 Medical Resource Group, LLC. All rights reserved.