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Statin use is associated with a reduced risk of asthma exacerbations

Published online: July 2021

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways characterized by variable airflow restriction and airway hyperresponsiveness. Anti-inflammatory therapy is crucial for long-term asthma management, and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are recommended as a first-line treatment. However, not all patients achieve asthma control despite standard treatment, and some patients need additional therapies. Statins may benefit in the treatment of asthma through their pleiotropic anti-inflammatory effects. Despite positive preclinical data on statin use in patients with asthma, clinical trials and epidemiological studies have yielded conflicting results.

In a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, Kim et al. evaluated the association between statin use and an asthma diagnosis and asthma-related outcomes such as emergency department visits, hospitalization, and systemic steroid use using the Korean National Health Insurance Service-Health Screening Cohort data. Conditional and unconditional logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the effect of the previous use of statins on an asthma diagnosis or asthma exacerbations (AE) after adjusting for multiple covariates.

This study showed there was no significant association between statin use and an asthma diagnosis (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=1.01, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.98-1.03, P=0.633 for one year of statin prescription). However, statin use was associated with 11% fewer AEs in patients with asthma (aOR=0.89, 95% CI=0.84-0.93, P<0.001 for one year of statin prescription). Therefore, the authors conclude that statins may reduce the risk of asthma-exacerbations in patients with asthma . Further studies to confirm these findings are warranted.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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