Ankylosing spondylitis: statins reduce all-cause mortality by 37%
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In patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), statin initiation was associated with a 37% reduction in all-cause mortality, independent of age, sex, BMI, socioeconomic status, relevant comorbidities, cardiovascular medication use, total cholesterol levels, and healthcare utilisation.
Why this matters
Similar to patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), patients with AS are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality.
Statins have been associated with 20% reduced mortality in RA patients, most likely due to their dual cholesterol-lowering and systemic anti-inflammatory effects.
This is the first study to find a potentially substantial mortality benefit of statin use in patients with AS.
Among patients with AS who were initiated on a statin, there were 96 deaths over a mean follow-up of 5.3 y compared with 134 deaths in the non-initiator group over a mean follow-up period of 5.1 y.
Using propensity score matching, the corresponding mortality rates were 16.5 and 23.8 per 1000 patient years (PYs), respectively.
The absolute mortality rate difference was 7.3 (95% CI, 2.1-12.5) deaths per 1000 PYs.
HR for mortality associated with statin initiation was 0.63 (95% CI, 0.46-0.85).
Cohort study of 1108 patients with AS who initiated a statin and 1108 non-initiators, using data from a UK general population database.
Funding: None specified.
Incomplete information on disease severity and use of AS therapies.
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