Statin use for CVD may lower risk for COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths


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Statin use for primary prevention of CVD was associated with lower risk for COVID-19 hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths, according to findings from a cohort study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“Statins are now known to be beneficial in primary prevention, decreasing all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke,” Kim Bouillon, MD, PhD, of the department of epidemiology and public health at the University College London, and colleagues wrote. “Furthermore, there is no evidence of any serious harm caused by their use.”

Source: Adobe Stock.
Source: Adobe Stock

In a population-based study, Bouillon and colleagues observed more than 2 million patients who were aged at least 40 years and used statins for primary prevention of CVD (mean age, 69 years; 47% men) compared with more than 2 million patients matched for age, sex, residence area and comorbidities who did not use statins (mean age, 69 years; 47% men).

Statin users had a 16% reduced risk for COVID-19 hospitalization compared with nonusers (adjusted HR = 0.84; 95% CI, 0.81-0.88), according to the researchers.

All statins conferred reduced risk for COVID-19 hospitalization, ranging from atorvastatin (aHR = 0.89; 95% CI, 0.84-0.95) to fluvastatin (aHR = 0.75; 95% CI, 0.57-0.99), were associated with lower risk for hospitalization.

Low- and moderate-intensity statins conferred lower risk of COVID-19 outcomes compared with nonuse (aHR for low-intensity vs. none = 0.78; 95% CI, 0.71-0.86; aHR for moderate-intensity vs. none = 0.84; 95% CI, 0.8-0.89). However, Bouillon and colleagues found, high-intensity statins were not associated with reduced COVID-19 hospitalization (aHR = 1.01; 95% CI, 0.86-1.18).

Lower risk for COVID-19 hospitalization associated with statin use was observed in all age classes and in both men and women regardless of comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and chronic respiratory condition.

Results for in-hospital death from COVID-19 were similar, according to the researchers.

“The lower risk of hospitalization among statin users compared with nonusers that we found in this study, if causal, would likely be attributable to the pleiotropic beneficial effects of statins as anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory and anticoagulant agents,” Bouillon and colleagues wrote.

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