(HealthDay News) – Treatment with statins, such as rosuvastatin, is associated with a modest reduction in the incidence of pneumonia, according to a study published online March 19 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

To investigate whether statin treatment reduces the incidence of pneumonia, Victor Novack, MD, PhD, from the Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel, and colleagues analyzed data for 17,802 healthy participants from the Justification for the Use of Statins in Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin (JUPITER) trial. Participants were men ≥50 years and women ≥60 years, with a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level <130mg/dL and a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein level of ≥2mg/L, who were randomly allocated to receive rosuvastatin or placebo and were followed for a median of 1.9 years

The researchers found that incident pneumonia was reported as an adverse event in 214 participants in the rosuvastatin group and 257 in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.83; 95% CI, 0.69–1). In analyses restricted to events occurring before a cardiovascular event, pneumonia occurred in 203 participants in the rosuvastatin group and 250 participants in the placebo group (HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.67–0.97). This association was not modified by inclusion of recurrent pneumonia events (HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.67–0.98) or by adjustment for variables, including age, sex, smoking status, metabolic syndrome, and lipid or C-reactive protein levels.

“Data from this randomized controlled trial support the hypothesis that statin treatment may modestly reduce the incidence of pneumonia,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, which funded the JUPITER trial and manufactures rosuvastatin.

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