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The Effect of Rosuvastatin (Crestor) on Incident Pneumonia


Evidence from observational studies has raised the possibility that statin treatment reduces the incidence of certain bacterial infections, particularly pneumonia. As a result, a study published on line in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (19 March 2012), analyzed data from a randomized controlled trial of rosuvastatin calcium (Crestor) to examine this hypothesis.


For the study, data were analyzed from the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled JUPITER trial (Justification for the Use of Statins in Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin). In the trial, 17,802 healthy participants (men 50 years and older and women 60 and older) with a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level below 130mg/dL (3.4mmol/L) and a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein level of 2.0mg/L or greater, were randomly assigned to receive either rosuvastatin or placebo. The incidence of pneumonia was evaluated on an intention-to-treat basis by reviewing reports of adverse events from the study investigators, who were unaware of the treatment assignments.


Results showed that among 17,802 trial participants followed for a median of 1.9 years, incident pneumonia was reported as an adverse event in 214 participants in the rosuvastatin group and 257 in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR] 0.83). In analyses restricted to events occurring before a cardiovascular event, pneumonia occurred in 203 participants given rosuvastatin and 250 given placebo (HR 0.81). Inclusion of recurrent pneumonia events did not modify this effect (HR 0.81), nor did adjustment for age, gender, smoking, metabolic syndrome, lipid levels and C-reactive protein level.


According to the authors, data from this randomized controlled trial support the hypothesis that statin treatment may modestly reduce the incidence of pneumonia.


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