Rationale: Statins, or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors may aid in the treatment of asthma through their pleiotropic anti-inflammatory effects. Objective: To examine the effect of statin therapy on asthma-related exacerbations using a large population-based cohort. Methods: Statin users aged 31 years or greater with asthma were identified from the Population-Based Effectiveness in Asthma and Lung population, which includes data from five health plans. Statin exposure and asthma exacerbations were assessed over a 24-month observation period. Statin users with a statin medication possession ratio ≥80% were matched to non-statin users by age, baseline asthma therapy, site of enrollment, season at baseline, and propensity score which was calculated based on patient demographics and Deyo-Charlson conditions. Asthma exacerbations were defined as two or more oral corticosteroid dispensings, asthma-related emergency department visits or asthma-related hospitalizations. The association between statin exposure and each of the three outcome measures was assessed using conditional logistic regression. Measurements and main results: Of the 14,566 statin users, 8,349 statin users were matched to a non-user. After adjusting for Deyo-Charlson conditions that remained unbalanced after matching, among statin users, statin exposure was associated with decreased odds of having asthma-related emergency department visits (OR=0.64, 95%CI 0.53-0.77, p<0.0001) and two or more oral corticosteroid dispensings (OR=0.90, 95%CI 0.81-0.99, p=0.04). There were no differences in asthma-related hospitalizations (OR=0.91, 95%CI 0.66-1.24, p=0.52). Conclusions: Among statin users with asthma, statin exposure was associated with decreased odds of asthma-related emergency department visits and oral corticosteroid dispensings.
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