• Article

Association between statin medications and COPD-specific outcomes A real-world observational study

BACKGROUND: Disease-modifying drugs are not yet available for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) have anti-inflammatory properties and are therefore being considered for use in the management of COPD.

OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to examine the association between statin use and COPD-specific outcomes in a real-world setting.

METHODS: This was a retrospective longitudinal dynamic cohort study that used Medicaid claims data from multiple years (2005-2008) to identify patients with newly diagnosed COPD. Statin therapy was determined from the prescription drug file using National Drug Codes (NDCs). COPD-specific outcomes such as hospitalizations and emergency room and outpatient visits were identified based on a primary diagnosis of COPD. Multivariable logistic regressions with inverse probability treatment weights (IPTWs) were used to examine the relationship between statin therapy and COPD-specific outcomes.

RESULTS: The study included 19,060 Medicaid beneficiaries with newly diagnosed COPD, 30.3% of whom received statins during the baseline period. Adults who received statins had significantly lower rates of COPD-specific hospitalizations (4.7 vs. 5.2%; p < 0.05), emergency room visits (13.4 vs. 15.4%; p < 0.001), and outpatient visits (41.4 vs. 44.7%; p < 0.001) than those who did not receive statin therapy. Even after adjusting for observed selection bias with IPTWs, adults receiving statins were less likely to have COPD-specific hospitalizations [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.76; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.66-0.87], emergency room visits (AOR 0.81; 95% CI 0.75-0.89), and outpatient visits (AOR 0.86; 95% CI 0.80-0.91) than those not receiving statins.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study suggest statins have beneficial effects in patients with newly diagnosed COPD and warrant further clinical trial investigation.


Ajmera, M., Shen, C., & Sambamoorthi, U. (2017). Association between statin medications and COPD-specific outcomes: A real-world observational study. Drugs - Real World Outcomes, 4(1), 9-19. DOI: 10.1007/s40801-016-0101-6

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