Statin Use in Asthmatics: Risk of ER Visits

Dec 1, 2013
Statin Use in Asthmatics on Inhaled Corticosteroids Is Associated with Decreased Risk of Emergency Department Visits. Published in Current Medical Research and Opinion.

Objective: Statins are hypothesized to have beneficial effects in asthma management through their pleiotropic anti-inflammatory effects. Several studies have examined this relationship, but have yielded conflicting results. This study investigates the effect of statin use on asthma-related hospitalizations and/or emergency department (ED) visits, and whether this relationship varies by concomitant inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) in a large cohort of asthma patients.

Methods: Subjects with asthma, a recent history of asthma exacerbation, and who were 18 years or older were selected from the population-based Medco Health Solutions administrative database over a 1 year period. Prescription claims for statins and asthma medications, and asthma-related hospitalizations and/or ED visits were ascertained over a 12 month follow-up period. Subjects were stratified into two groups based on their ICS use.

Results: A total of 3747 ICS users and 2905 non-ICS users were included in this study. Statin users represented 21% of ICS users and 11% of non-users. Among ICS users, statin use was significantly associated with decreased odds of asthma-related ED visits (OR = 0.77, 95% CI 0.64-0.94, p = 0.008), but not with asthma-related hospitalizations (OR = 1.09, 95% CI 0.92-1.30, p = 0.31). No significant associations were found among non-ICS users (for asthma-related ED visits: OR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.57-1.49, p = 0.73; asthma-related hospitalizations: OR = 1.10, 95% CI 0.85-1.41, p = 0.48). The statistical interactions between ICS and statin use on asthma-related hospitalizations and/or ED visits were not significant.

Conclusion: Statin use is associated with fewer ED visits in asthma patients who are using ICS.