a1 Royal College of General Practitioners, Research and Surveillance Centre, Birmingham, UK
a2 Health Protection Agency, Centre for Infections, London, UK
a3 Health Protection Agency, Real-time Syndromic Surveillance Team, Birmingham, UK
a4 Apollo Medical Systems Ltd, Sunderland, UK
a5 University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Statins reduce cardiovascular mortality and related risks associated with pneumonia suggesting potentially beneficial use in influenza pandemics. We investigated the effect of current statin use on acute respiratory infections in primary care. Data from anonymized electronic medical records of persons aged ⩾45 years were examined for statin use, chronic morbidity, respiratory diagnoses, vaccination procedures, and immune suppression. Logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) for statin users vs. non-users in respiratory infection outcomes. A total of 329 881 person-year observations included 18% statin users and 46% influenza vaccinees. Adjusted ORs for statin users vs. non-users were: influenza-like illness, 1·05 (95% CI 0·92–1·20); acute bronchitis, 1·08 (95% CI 1·01–1·15); pneumonia, 0·91 (95% CI 0·73–1·13); all acute respiratory infections, 1·03 (95% CI 0·98–1·07); and urinary tract infections, 0·91 (95% CI 0·85–0·98). We found no benefit in respiratory infection outcomes attributable to statin use, although uniformly higher ORs in non-vaccinated statin users might suggest synergism between statins and influenza vaccination.
(Accepted December 18 2009)
(Online publication January 29 2010)