Statins may reduce episodes of exacerbation and the requirement for intubation in patients with COPD: evidence from a retrospective cohort study


  • Disclosures None.

M. Anees Khan,
Division of Pulmonary Diseases, Department of Medicine, School of Graduate Medical Education, Seton Hall University, St. Joseph’s Reg. Med. Ctr., 703 Main St., Paterson, NJ 07503, USA
Tel.: + 1 973 754 2442
Fax: + 1 973 754 2469


Introduction:  Statins have diverse anti-inflammatory effects in addition to their lipid-lowering ability. This study assesses the rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation and intubations in patients taking statins.

Methods:  This is a retrospective cohort study of 185 patients with COPD exacerbation, with a 1-year follow-up. Outcomes examined were repeat hospitalisation and intubations for COPD exacerbation. Baseline characteristics for which the p-value was ≤ 0.10 were considered as covariates for inclusion in a multivariate model.

Results:  The statin group had fewer episodes of exacerbation and required intubation fewer times than the subjects not receiving statins (p < 0.0001 for both outcomes). Unadjusted odds ratios (OR) for no statin use vs. statin use were 9.54 (95% CI: 4.54–20.02) for exacerbation and 10.47 (CI: 4.56–24.01) for intubation. The OR, adjusted for the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ORa), were 2.35 (CI: 1.01–5.50) for non-statin users exhibiting an exacerbation and 10.36 (CI: 2.77–38.76) for this group requiring intubation, compared with statin users. Similarly, ORa for long-acting β2 agonists as a covariate were 3.01 (CI: 1.46–6.10) for exacerbation and 8.89 (CI: 3.67–21.32) for intubation. Time to outcome during the observation period was reduced by statins with the hazard ratio (HR) for exacerbation of 0.19 (CI: 0.06–0.14); HR for statins reducing intubation was 0.14 (95% CI: 0.10–0.30).

Conclusions:  These data suggest that the use of statins may be associated with lower incidence of both exacerbations and intubations in patients with COPD.