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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Statins for primary prevention of venous thromboembolism

Lun Li, Tiantian Sun, Peizhen Zhang, Jinhui Tian, Kehu Yang
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, (12): CD008203
22161421

BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is common in clinical practice. The efficacy of statins in the primary prevention of VTE remains unproven.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy of statins in the primary prevention of VTE.

SEARCH METHODS: The Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases (PVD) Group searched their Specialised Register (last searched April 2011) and CENTRAL (2011, Issue 2). The authors searched MEDLINE (January 1966 to March 2011); EMBASE (1974 to March 2011); ISI Web of Knowledge (2001 to March 2011); the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (1978 to March 2011) and other resources (including clinical trials registers, reference lists and presentations at various conferences.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that assessed statins were considered. The outcomes we evaluated were the rates of VTE, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, death and adverse events. Two authors independently selected RCTs against inclusion criteria. Disagreements were resolved by discussion with a third author.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data extraction was independently carried out by two authors. Disagreements were resolved by discussion with a third author. Two authors independently assessed the risk of bias according to a standard quality checklist provided by the PVD Group.

MAIN RESULTS: We included one RCT (17 citations) with 17,802 participants that assessed rosuvastatin for preventing VTE. Our analysis showed that rosuvastatin reduced the incidence of VTE (odds ratio (OR) 0.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.37 to 0.86) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.79), the risk of any (fatal and non-fatal) myocardial infarction (MI) (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.69), any (fatal and non-fatal) stroke (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.34 to 0.78), but did not reduce the incidence of pulmonary embolism (PE) (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.41 to 1.46) and death after VTE (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.20 to 1.24). Rosuvastatin did not reduce the incidence of any serious adverse event (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.06).

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Available evidence showed that rosuvastatin was associated with a reduced incidence of VTE, but the evidence was limited to a single RCT. Randomised controlled trials of statins (including rosuvastatin) are needed to evaluate the efficacy of statins in the prevention of VTE.

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