Patients with Prior Statin use May Recover more Quickly from Community Acquired Pneumonia.

   Those with severe community acquired pneumonia (CAP) who were prescribed statins required fewer days to reach clinical stability (mean 4.6 vs. 6.2 days; P=0.001) and had a shorter length of hospital stay (mean 9.1 vs. 11 days; P=0.005) than patients who were not prescribed statins. Diego Viasus, MD and colleagues of the University of Barcelona, Spain presented the results of the prospective cohort study of non-immunosuppressed adults with CAP who required hospitalization (2007-2010) at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Chicago.

   The study included 1251 consecutive patients (985 with severe CAP and 266 with non-severe CAP). Of the 985 patients with severe CAP,  severe CAP (145 had hypotension, 417 had multilobar pneumonia, 128 required ICU admission, and 817 were classified into the Pneumonia Severity Index classes IV-V).

   Dr. Viasus found that 23.1% of the patients with severe CAP used statins and 18% of patients with non-severe CAP used statins. Patients using statins were significantly older, had more comorbidities, and received more frequent influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations than patients who were not prescribed statins. The protective effect of statins was seen only in patients with severe CAP. It did not effect intensive care unit admission and mortality in patients with either severe or non-severe CAP.

   The researchers suggest that the protective effects of statins may be due to their immunomodulatory properties. Patients with severe CAP have the highest level of inflammatory cytokines and this might account for the benefit seen in that patient population.