You-Dong Wan, Tong-Wen Sun, Quan-Cheng Kan, Fang-Xia Guan, Shu-Guang Zhang Critical Care 2014, 18:R71 (11 April 2014)

Introduction: Observational data have suggested that statin therapy may reduce mortality in patients with infection and sepsis; however, results from randomized studies are contradictory and do not support the use of statins in this context. Here, we performed a meta-analysis to investigate the effects of statin therapy on mortality from infection and sepsis.

Methods: We searched electronic databases (PubMed and Embase) for articles published before November 2013. Randomized or observational studies reporting the effects of statin therapy on mortality in patients with infection or sepsis were eligible. Randomized and observational studies were separately pooled with risk ratios (RRs) and random-effects models.

Results: We examined 5 randomized controlled trials with 867 patients and 27 observational studies with 337,648 patients. Among the randomized controlled trials, statins did not significantly decrease in-hospital mortality (RR, 0.98; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.73 to 1.33) or 28-day mortality (RR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.46 to 1.89). However, observational studies indicated that statins were associated with a significant decrease in mortality with adjusted data (RR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.57 to 0.75) or unadjusted data (RR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.94).

Conclusions: Limited evidence suggests that statins may not be associated with a significant reduction in mortality from infection and sepsis. Although meta-analysis from observational studies showed that the use of statins was associated with a survival advantage, these outcomes were limited by high heterogeneity and possible bias in the data. Therefore, we should be cautious about the use of statins in infection and sepsis.

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