Statins decrease the occurrence of venous thromboembolism in patients with cancer

Danai Khemasuwan, Matthew L Divietro, Kawin Tangdhanakanond, Sherry C Pomerantz, Glenn Eiger
American Journal of Medicine 2010, 123 (1): 60-5

BACKGROUND: Recent data suggest a reduction in the occurrence of venous thromboembolism in select groups of patients who use statins. The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of statin use on the occurrence of venous thromboembolism in patients with solid organ tumor.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, case-control study reviewing 740 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of solid organ tumor who were admitted to the Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, Penn, between October 2004 and September 2007. Patients treated with anticoagulation therapy before their first admission were excluded. The occurrence of venous thromboembolism, risk factors for venous thromboembolism, and statin use were recorded. Patients who never used statins or had used them for less than 2 months were relegated to the control group.

RESULTS: The mean age of the study population was 65 years, and 52% of the patients were women and 76% were African American. The occurrence of venous thromboembolism was 18% (N=132), and 26% (N=194) were receiving statins. Among patients receiving statins, 8% (N=16) developed a venous thromboembolism compared with 21% (N=116) in the control group (odds ratio 0.33; 95% confidence interval, 0.19-0.57). A logistic regression analysis including risk factors for venous thromboembolism (metastatic disease, use of chemotherapy, immobilization, smoking, and aspirin use) along with statin use yielded the same results.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that the use of statins is associated with a significant reduction in the occurrence of venous thromboembolism. This pleiotropic effect warrants further investigation.


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