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Statin use and the prevention of venous thromboembolism: a meta-analysis

V Agarwal, O J Phung, V Tongbram, A Bhardwaj, C I Coleman
International Journal of Clinical Practice 2010, 64 (10): 1375-83
20716146

AIMS: Statins are thought to have antithrombotic properties and may attenuate patients' odds of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE), but clinical studies have yielded variable estimates of this effect. The aim was to conduct a meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of statin use on development of VTE.

METHODS: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies evaluating the effects of statins on the incidence of VTE were selected from MEDLINE (1996 to August 2009), Cochrane CENTRAL (second quarter, 2009), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (second quarter, 2009) and a manual review of references. While no further restrictions were placed on RCTs, observational studies were only included if they reported adjusted effect sizes using appropriate methods. Development of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE) and any VTE from RCTs and observational studies were pooled using traditional meta analytic techniques with a random-effects model.

RESULTS: Ten studies were identified and eligible for meta-analysis. Upon meta-analysis, statin use was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the odds of developing VTE (AOR 0.68, 95% CI 0.54-0.86), DVT (AOR 0.59, 95% CI 0.43-0.82) and PE (AOR 0.70, 95% CI 0.53-0.94).

DISCUSSION: Statin use is associated with significantly reduced odds of developing VTE, DVT or PE by 32%, 41% and 30% respectively. Our meta-analysis included one RCT, JUPITER, which alone provided statistically significant reduction in the odds of developing VTE and DVT (43% and 55% respectively), and a nonsignificant reduction on PE.

CONCLUSION: Currently available evidence suggests that statins can reduce patients' odds of developing VTE.

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