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Statins linked to reduction in pneumonia risk

Saturday March 24, 2012
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Statins were associated with a modest reduction in pneumonia risk, according to newly published findings of a study based in primary care settings.

Researchers from Israel and the United States analyzed data from a randomized, double-blind trial with placebo-control groups (the JUPITER trial) conducted at 1,315 sites in 26 countries to look at rosuvastatin in disease prevention. The trial involved 17,802 men ages 50 and older and women ages 60 and older without a history of heart disease or diabetes.

Patients were randomized to receive either a placebo or rosuvastatin, a statin used to treat hyperlipidemia and prevent heart disease. During a median follow-up period of almost two years, the researchers found that 214 people in the statin group compared with 257 people in the placebo group contracted pneumonia.

"Participants randomly assigned to receive rosuvastatin had a modest reduction in the incidence of pneumonia compared with participants assigned to the placebo group," the authors wrote in the March 19 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"Although a number of observational studies have suggested a protective effect of statin use on the incidence of pneumonia and other infections, we are not aware of any evidence from prior randomized trials that specifically evaluated this question."

The authors concluded that "the absolute risk reduction observed in this primary prevention setting was small, and the effects on infection may be greater in other settings."

To download a PDF of the study, visit http://bit.ly/FRuTOX.

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