Effect of statins on COPD
Wen Zhang, Yi Zhang, Chuan-Wei Li, Paul Jones, Chen Wang & Ye Fan
Therapy that improves the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is urgently needed. In a meta-analysis of 10 randomised controlled trials involving 1471 patients, Wen Zhang from Xinqiao Hospital, Beijing, and his colleagues sought to determine the clinical efficacy of statin therapy in COPD. They observed that statin drugs improved exercise tolerance, pulmonary function and quality of life in patients with COPD. The authors also found that COPD patients with hyperlipidaemia, increased systemic inflammation or co-morbid cardiovascular disease (CVD) demonstrated more benefits from statin therapy than those without, and that there was no association between statin therapy and survival rates (although only a few trails in this analysis focused on that outcome). Findings support routine CVD assessment for COPD patients who have a cardiovascular indication for statin drug treatment, as it may confer benefits to the pulmonary system. They recommend running a large randomised controlled trial to test these hypotheses.