UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Statin use and infections in Veterans with cirrhosis

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Anti-Infective Agents; Clostridium difficile; Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous; Female; Hospitals, Veterans; Humans; Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors; Liver Cirrhosis; Male; Metronidazole; Middle Aged; Military Personnel; Proportional Hazards Models; Recurrence; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Treatment Outcome; United States


Digestive System Diseases | Hepatology | Therapeutics


BACKGROUND: Evidence about the beneficial effects of statins on reducing infections is accumulating. Identifying ways to reduce infection risk in patients with cirrhosis is important because of increased mortality risk and costs associated with infections.

AIM: To estimate the extent to which statin use prolongs time to infection among patients with cirrhosis.

METHODS: We identified Veterans with cirrhosis, but without decompensation (n = 19,379) using US Veterans Health Administration data from 2001 to 2009. New users of statins were identified and propensity matched to non-users and users of other cholesterol-lowering medications (1:1 matching). The cohort was followed up for hospitalisations with infections. Cox regression models with time-varying exposures provided estimates of adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

RESULTS: New statin use was present among 13% of VA patients with cirrhosis without decompensation. Overall, 12.4% of patients developed a serious infection, and 0.1% of patients died. In the propensity-matched sample, statin users experienced hospitalisations with infections at a rate 0.67 less than non-users (95% Confidence Interval: 0.47-0.95).

CONCLUSIONS: Infections are a major concern among cirrhotic patients and have the potential to seriously impact both life expectancy and quality of life. Statin use may potentially reduce the risk of infections among patients with cirrhosis.

DOI of Published Version



Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Sep;38(6):611-8. doi: 10.1111/apt.12430 Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Alimentary pharmacology and therapeutics

PubMed ID