MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Setor Kunutsor BSc MD MPhil(cantab) PhD(cantab)
Musculoskeletal Research Unit
University of Bristol
School of Clinical Sciences
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Statins are well established for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and this is based on their ability to lower levels of circulating lipids in the blood. However, statins are also known to have pleotropic effects and these include potential protective effects on multiple disease conditions.
Based on their anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic properties, there have been suggestions that statins may prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) (which comprises of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis). The evidence is however uncertain. Several studies utilizing both observational cohort and randomized controlled designs have been conducted to evaluate whether statin therapy or use is associated with a reduction in the incidence of VTE, but the results have been inconclusive. In a recent review that was published in 2012, Rahimi and colleagues pooled the results of several randomized controlled trials (RCTs), but found no significant reduction in the risk of VTE with statin therapy [REF]. Given the publication of new studies since this study was published and the existing uncertain evidence on the effect of statins on VTE, we decided it was time to bring all the evidence together and evaluate if statin therapy really did have a protective effect on the risk of venous thromboembolism.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Altogether we analyzed 36 studies (comprising of 13 observational cohort designs and 23 RCTs) with data on more than 3.2 million participants. Our results showed a clear link between statin use and a reduced risk of venous thromboembolism. There was a 15-25 percent reduction in the risk of VTE in those who used statins compared with those who did not use statins. The results also suggested that this protective effect might be attributed to rosuvastatin.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Prevention of venous thromboembolism could be another potential indication of statins and could be a true protective effect. However, further evidence is needed to validate these findings before guidelines for statin use are expanded to include prevention of VTE.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future intervention studies with VTE outcomes prespecified as primary outcomes are needed to establish the beneficial role of statin therapy on VTE occurrence. Studies are also needed to show whether all statins are equally effective in protecting against venous thromboembolism.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Kunutsor SK, Seidu S, Khunti K. Statins and primary prevention of venous thromboembolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Haematol. 2017 Jan 12. pii: S2352-3026(16)30184-3. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3026(16)30184-3
Rahimi K, Bhala N, Kamphuisen P, Emberson J, Biere-Rafi S, Krane V, et al. Effect of statins on venous thromboembolic events: a meta-analysis of published and unpublished evidence from randomised controlled trials. PLoS medicine. 2012;9(9):e1001310
Statins and primary prevention of venous thromboembolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Kunutsor, Setor K et al.
The Lancet Haematology , Volume 0 , Issue 0 ,
Published: 12 January 2017
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