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Association between statin use and osteoporotic fracture in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a population-based, matched case-control study

Hung-Yi Chen 1 2Pei-Yu Su 3Tsung-Kun Lin 4 5Gwo-Ping Jong 6

Lipids Health Dis doi: 10.1186/s12944-020-01412-6.


Background: In the recent years, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been found to be associated with a higher risk of new-onset osteoporotic fracture (NOF). However, the existence of such an association in the COPD patients receiving statin treatment remains unknown. The present study aimed to investigate the association between COPD and NOF in statin-treated patients.

Methods: The present study was conducted over a period of 10 years (January 2004 to December 2013) in Taiwan. COPD patients receiving statin treatment were included in the statin user group, whereas the randomly selected statin non-users, with 1:1 matching for sex, age, index date, and Charlson Comorbidity Index, were included in the statin non-user group. The hazard ratio (HR) of NOFs in COPD patients was estimated between statin user and non-user groups.

Results: A total of 86,188 cases were identified as the statin-treated patients, and 86,188 subjects were included in the control group of statin non-users. Initially, the risk of NOF was found to be higher among the statin users as compared to non-users [HR, 1.12; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01-1.25]. However, the calculation of risk for NOFs after the adjustment for age, sex, comorbidities, and concurrent medications indicated no association of NOF (HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.55-1.21) with COPD in patients receiving statin treatment as compared to statin non-users.

Conclusion: The results of the study provided first evidence for the absence of any association between COPD and NOFs in statin-treated patients during a follow-up period of 10 years. Thus, the findings of this study might support the hypothesis stating the potent pleiotropic effects of statins. In clinical practice, these drugs might prove beneficial for the patients with COPD.