HealthDay News — Statin use is associated with decreased risk of cirrhosis decompensation and death in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related compensated cirrhosis, according to research published in the February issue of Gastroenterology.

Arpan Mohanty, MBBS, of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, and colleagues used data from a retrospective cohort of 40 512 veterans (median age, 56 years) infected with HCV to examine the effects of statins on decompensation and survival times in patients with compensated cirrhosis.

The researchers identified 2802 statin users and developed a propensity score model in which 685 statin users were matched with 2062 nonusers. Compared with nonusers, statin users had a lower risk of decompensation (hazard ratio [HR], 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39 to 0.77) and death (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.69). This association remained following adjustment for age, FIB-4 index score, serum level of albumin, model for end-stage liver disease and Child-Turcotte-Pugh scores.

“Based on data from the Veteran Affairs Clinical Case Registry, statin use among patients with HCV and compensated cirrhosis is associated with a more than 40% lower risk of cirrhosis decompensation and death,” the authors write. “Although statins cannot yet be recommended widely for these patients, their use should not be avoided.”

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