JOURNAL ARTICLE

Preadmission statin use and one-year mortality among patients in intensive care - a cohort study

Steffen Christensen, Reimar W Thomsen, Martin B Johansen, Lars Pedersen, Reinhold Jensen, Kim M Larsen, Anders Larsson, Else Tønnesen, Henrik Toft Sørensen
Critical Care: the Official Journal of the Critical Care Forum 2010, 14 (2): R29
20214779

INTRODUCTION: Statins reduce risk of cardiovascular events and have beneficial pleiotropic effects; both may reduce mortality in critically ill patients. We examined whether statin use was associated with risk of death in general intensive care unit (ICU) patients.

METHODS: Cohort study of 12,483 critically ill patients > 45 yrs of age with a first-time admission to one of three highly specialized ICUs within the Aarhus University Hospital network, Denmark, between 2001 and 2007. Statin users were identified through population-based prescription databases. We computed cumulative mortality rates 0-30 days and 31-365 days after ICU admission and mortality rate ratios (MRRs), using Cox regression analysis controlling for potential confounding factors (demographics, use of other cardiovascular drugs, comorbidity, markers of social status, diagnosis, and surgery).

RESULTS: 1882 (14.3%) ICU patients were current statin users. Statin users had a reduced risk of death within 30 days of ICU admission [users: 22.1% vs. non-users 25.0%; adjusted MRR = 0.76 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.69 to 0.86)]. Statin users also had a reduced risk of death within one year after admission to the ICU [users: 36.4% vs. non-users 39.9%; adjusted MRR = 0.79 (95% CI: 0.73 to 0.86)]. Reduced risk of death associated with current statin use remained robust in various subanalyses and in an analysis using propensity score matching. Former use of statins and current use of non-statin lipid-lowering drugs were not associated with reduced risk of death.

CONCLUSIONS: Preadmission statin use was associated with reduced risk of death following intensive care. The associations seen could be a pharmacological effect of statins, but unmeasured differences in characteristics of statin users and non-users cannot be entirely ruled out.

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