Association Between Statin Medications and COPD-Specific Outcomes: A Real-World Observational Study

Mayank Ajmera, Chan Shen, Usha Sambamoorthi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Disease-modifying drugs are not yet available for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) have anti-inflammatory properties and are therefore being considered for use in the management of COPD. Objective: Our objective was to examine the association between statin use and COPD-specific outcomes in a real-world setting. Methods: This was a retrospective longitudinal dynamic cohort study that used Medicaid claims data from multiple years (2005–2008) to identify patients with newly diagnosed COPD. Statin therapy was determined from the prescription drug file using National Drug Codes (NDCs). COPD-specific outcomes such as hospitalizations and emergency room and outpatient visits were identified based on a primary diagnosis of COPD. Multivariable logistic regressions with inverse probability treatment weights (IPTWs) were used to examine the relationship between statin therapy and COPD-specific outcomes. Results: The study included 19,060 Medicaid beneficiaries with newly diagnosed COPD, 30.3% of whom received statins during the baseline period. Adults who received statins had significantly lower rates of COPD-specific hospitalizations (4.7 vs. 5.2%; p < 0.05), emergency room visits (13.4 vs. 15.4%; p < 0.001), and outpatient visits (41.4 vs. 44.7%; p < 0.001) than those who did not receive statin therapy. Even after adjusting for observed selection bias with IPTWs, adults receiving statins were less likely to have COPD-specific hospitalizations [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.76; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.66–0.87], emergency room visits (AOR 0.81; 95% CI 0.75–0.89), and outpatient visits (AOR 0.86; 95% CI 0.80–0.91) than those not receiving statins. Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest statins have beneficial effects in patients with newly diagnosed COPD and warrant further clinical trial investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalDrugs - Real World Outcomes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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