Statins, Liver Disease, and the Risk of Severe Hepatic Injury

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Low Risk of Statin-Linked Hepatic Injury in Liver Disease
Low Risk of Statin-Linked Hepatic Injury in Liver Disease

(HealthDay News) — For patients with chronic liver disease, statin initiation is associated with low overall incidence of hospitalization due to severe hepatic injury, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Chia-Hsuin Chang, M.D., Ph.D., from the National Taiwan University in Dou-Liou City, and colleagues conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study involving 37,929 subjects with chronic liver disease who started statin therapy. The authors estimated the risk of severe hepatic injury associated with different statins; hospitalization due to liver injury was used as the outcome measure.

The researchers identified 912 incident cases of hospitalization due to hepatic injury during a total of 118,772 person-years of follow-up. For atorvastatin, lovastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin, and rosuvastatin initiators, the incidence rates were 2.95, 2.49, 2.92, 1.94, 2.65, and 2.52 per 100,000 person-days, respectively. There was no difference overall in the incidence with different statins. On further categorization of high- and low-dose statins, high-dose, but not low-dose, atorvastatin was significantly associated with increased risk of hospitalization due to hepatic injury (hazard ratio, 1.62).

"The overall incidence of hospitalization due to severe hepatic injury was low among statin initiators with chronic liver disease," the authors write.

Abstract
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