Simvastatin for Prevention of COPD Exacerbations
The Article: Simvastatin for the Prevention of Exacerbations in Moderate-to-Severe COPD
Criner et al. NEJM 2014
Prior retrospective studies showed that statins decrease the severity of COPD exacerbations along with the associated morbiditiy and mortality. This is the first prospective trial studying this effect.
The Study: Multi-center RCT of 885 patients with a diagnosis of COPD (ages 40-80) to receive 40mg simvastatin daily or placebo for 12-36 months.
The Findings: There were no differences in the primary outcome of exacerbation rate between the two groups. Nor was there any difference in the secondary outcomes including days until the next exacerbation, severity or frequency of exacerbations, quality of life, lung function or mortality. Simvastatin did significantly lower LDL levels and raise HDL in the study group. The study was stopped early due to futility.
40mg of Simvastatin daily has no role in preventing COPD exacerbations.