Statins for primary prevention of venous thromboembolism

Lun Li, Peizhen Zhang, Jin Hui Tian, KeHu Yang
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014 December 18, (12): CD008203

BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is common in clinical practice. The efficacy of statins in the primary prevention of VTE remains unproven. This is an update of the review first published in 2011.

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

SEARCH METHODS: For this update the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases (PVD) Group Trials Search Co-ordinator searched the Specialised Register (last searched February 2014) and CENTRAL (2014, Issue 1).

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

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

MAIN RESULTS: For this update we included one RCT with 17,802 participants that assessed rosuvastatin compared with placebo for the prevention of VTE. The quality of the evidence was moderate because of imprecision, as the required sample size for the outcomes of this review was not achieved. Analysis showed that when compared with placebo 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), and any (fatal and non-fatal) stroke (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.34 to 0.78). There was no difference in the incidence of pulmonary embolism (PE) (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.41 to 1.46), fatal MI (OR 1.50, 95% CI 0.53 to 4.22), fatal stroke (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.08 to 1.09) or death after VTE (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.20 to 1.24). The incidence of any serious adverse events was no different between the rosuvastatin and placebo groups (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.20).

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Available evidence showed that rosuvastatin was associated with a reduced incidence of VTE, but the evidence was limited to a single RCT and any firm conclusions and suggestions could be not drawn. Randomised controlled trials of statins (including rosuvastatin) are needed to evaluate their efficacy in the prevention of VTE.

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