Statin use may lower risk of Crohn's Disease: Study
Statin use is associated with a lower risk of Crohn's Disease, but not of ulcerative colitis.
Sweden: The use of statins is associated with a lower risk of Crohn's Disease but not of Ulcerative Colitis, according to a study published in the Journal of Crohn's and Colitis.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of a part or the entire gastrointestinal tract. The most common types of IBD are Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). It affects more than 6.8 million patients globally and is a cause for significant morbidity and economic burden on the health care system. Statins are potent lipid-lowering agents prescribed on a global scale for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and treatment of dyslipidemia. There is sufficient evidence to show that statin use may modulate inflammation. However, data associating statin use to IBD does not exist.
With this background, researchers from Sweden, led by Paul Lochhead, carried out a nationwide, population-based case-control study to examine the association between statin use and risk of IBD in a population. The Nationwide Swedish Patient Register [inpatient and non-primary outpatient care] was searched to identify adults diagnosed with Crohn's disease [CD, n = 7637] or ulcerative colitis [UC, n = 15 652] from 2006 to 2014. Each case was matched to 10 general population controls [n = 232 890]. Data on dispensed statin prescriptions were extracted from the Prescribed Drug Register. Odds ratios [ORs] were estimated using conditional logistic regression models, for risk of IBD according to statin exposure while controlling for potential confounders, including indications for statin therapy.
The study revealed some interesting findings:
i) compared with no statin use, any statin use was associated with a lower risk of CD but not of UC.
ii) The lowest OR for CD was seen for current statin use.
iii) For CD, the lowest category of cumulative statin dose was associated with an OR of 0.73 and the highest category with an OR of 0.66.
iv) For UC, the lowest and highest dose categories yielded ORs of 1.12 and 0.99, respectively.
"Statin use was associated with a lower risk of CD, but not of UC. The association with CD risk appeared strongest for current statin use. Our findings suggest that statin use may influence the development of CD," the team of investigators concluded.
The study titled, "Association Between Statin Use and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Results from a Swedish, Nationwide, Population-based Case-control Study," is published in the Journal of Crohn's and Colitis.