Statin exposure is associated with decreased asthma-related emergency department visits and oral corticosteroid use
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RATIONALE: Statins, or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, may aid in the treatment of asthma through their pleiotropic antiinflammatory effects. OBJECTIVES: To examine the effect of statin therapy on asthma-related exacerbations using a large population-based cohort. METHODS: Statin users aged 31 years or greater with asthma were identified from the Population-Based Effectiveness in Asthma and Lung population, which includes data from five health plans. Statin exposure and asthma exacerbations were assessed over a 24-month observation period. Statin users with a statin medication possession ratio greater than or equal to 80% were matched to non-statin users by age, baseline asthma therapy, site of enrollment, season at baseline, and propensity score, which was calculated based on patient demographics and Deyo-Charlson conditions. Asthma exacerbations were defined as two or more oral corticosteroid dispensings, asthma-related emergency department visits, or asthma-related hospitalizations. The association between statin exposure and each of the three outcome measures was assessed using conditional logistic regression. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of the 14,566 statin users, 8,349 statin users were matched to a nonuser. After adjusting for Deyo-Charlson conditions that remained unbalanced after matching, among statin users, statin exposure was associated with decreased odds of having asthma-related emergency department visits (odds ratio [OR], 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53-0.77; P < 0.0001) and two or more oral corticosteroid dispensings (OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.81-0.99; P = 0.04). There were no differences in asthma-related hospitalizations (OR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.66-1.24; P = 0.52). CONCLUSIONS: Among statin users with asthma, statin exposure was associated with decreased odds of asthma-related emergency department visits and oral corticosteroid dispensings.
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