Statins and secondary prevention of venous thromboembolism: pooled analysis of published observational cohort studies

Setor K Kunutsor, Samuel Seidu, Kamlesh Khunti
European Heart Journal 2017 May 21, 38 (20): 1608-1612

Aims: There have been suggestions that statins may have a potential role in secondary prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) [which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE)], but the evidence is inconsistent. We aimed to evaluate the association between statin use and risk of recurrent VTE.

Methods and results: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational cohort studies. All relevant studies which reported associations between statin use and recurrent VTE outcomes were identified from MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and manual search of bibliographies from inception to January 2017. Study specific relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals were aggregated using random effects models. Eight eligible studies comprising of 103 576 participants and 13 168 recurrent VTE outcomes were included in the pooled analysis. In pooled analysis of 7 studies, the RR for recurrent VTE was 0.73 (0.68-0.79) when comparing statin use with no use. There was no evidence of heterogeneity between contributing studies (I2=0%, 0-71%; P = 0.93). The RRs for recurrent PE (three studies) and DVT (two studies) comparing statin use with no statin use were 0.75 (95% CI: 0.58-0.96) and 0.66 (95% CI: 0.60-0.71) respectively.

Conclusion: Available evidence from observational cohort studies suggests a beneficial effect of statin use on VTE recurrence. Well-designed intervention studies are needed to corroborate these findings.

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