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      Association Between Use of Antihyperlipidemic Agents and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Patients with Hyperlipidemia: A Population-Based Retrospective Cohort Study

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          The effect of statins and fibrates on the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of statins and fibrates on the risk of COPD in patients with hyperlipidemia.

          Patients and Methods

          This study involved a retrospective cohort with a follow-up period of 6 years. We identified patients who were diagnosed as having hyperlipidemia between 2000 and 2016 from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the risk of COPD among different groups. The dose-related effects of statins and fibrates on the risk of COPD were evaluated according to the defined daily dose (DDD).


          Patients with hyperlipidemia not using statins and fibrates (group II) had a significantly higher risk of COPD compared with their comparison group, with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 1.091 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.034–1.152, p < 0.01]. Dose-dependent reduction in the risk of COPD was observed in patients with hyperlipidemia using statins or fibrates compared with patients not using them. Moreover, with an increase in cumulative exposure, a reduced risk of COPD was observed in patients using more than 361 DDDs, with an adjusted HR of 0.474 (95% CI: 0.401–0.559, p < 0.001). Patients on fibrate monotherapy using more than 541 DDDs were observed to have an adjusted HR of 0.454 (95% CI: 0.226–0.910, p < 0.05) and those on statin monotherapy with over 361 DDDs were noted to have an adjusted HR of 0.583 (95% CI: 0.459–0.740, p < 0.001).


          This study demonstrated that an increase in the cumulative exposure of statins and fibrates significantly reduced the risk of COPD in patients with hyperlipidemia, and the risk reduction appeared to be significantly dose dependent.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Association between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and systemic inflammation: a systematic review and a meta-analysis.

          Individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and muscle wasting. Systemic inflammation may be involved in the pathogenesis of these disorders. A study was undertaken to determine whether systemic inflammation is present in stable COPD. A systematic review was conducted of studies which reported on the relationship between COPD, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)) or forced vital capacity (FVC), and levels of various systemic inflammatory markers: C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, leucocytes, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and interleukins 6 and 8. Where possible the results were pooled together to produce a summary estimate using a random or fixed effects model. Fourteen original studies were identified. Overall, the standardised mean difference in the CRP level between COPD and control subjects was 0.53 units (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.34 to 0.72). The standardised mean difference in the fibrinogen level was 0.47 units (95% CI 0.29 to 0.65). Circulating leucocytes were also higher in COPD than in control subjects (standardised mean difference 0.44 units (95% CI 0.20 to 0.67)), as were serum TNF-alpha levels (standardised mean difference 0.59 units (95% CI 0.29 to 0.89)). Reduced lung function is associated with increased levels of systemic inflammatory markers which may have important pathophysiological and therapeutic implications for subjects with stable COPD.
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            Mortality in COPD: Role of comorbidities.

            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represents an increasing burden throughout the world. COPD-related mortality is probably underestimated because of the difficulties associated with identifying the precise cause of death. Respiratory failure is considered the major cause of death in advanced COPD. Comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and lung cancer are also major causes and, in mild-to-moderate COPD, are the leading causes of mortality. The links between COPD and these conditions are not fully understood. However, a link through the inflammation pathway has been suggested, as persistent low-grade pulmonary and systemic inflammation, both known risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer, are present in COPD independent of cigarette smoking. Lung-specific measurements, such as forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)), predict mortality in COPD and in the general population. However, composite tools, such as health-status measurements (e.g. St George's Respiratory Questionnaire) and the BODE index, which incorporates Body mass index, lung function (airflow Obstruction), Dyspnoea and Exercise capacity, predict mortality better than FEV(1) alone. These multidimensional tools may be more valuable because, unlike predictive approaches based on single parameters, they can reflect the range of comorbidities and the complexity of underlying mechanisms associated with COPD. The current paper reviews the role of comorbidities in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality, the putative underlying pathogenic link between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and comorbid conditions (i.e. inflammation), and the tools used to predict chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality.
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              2018 AHA/ACC/AACVPR/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/ADA/AGS/APhA/ASPC/NLA/PCNA Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol


                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                20 October 2020
                : 15
                : 2573-2581
                [1 ]Department of Pharmacy, Mackay Memorial Hospital , Taipei 10449, Taiwan
                [2 ]School of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University , Taipei 11031, Taiwan
                [3 ]Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University , Taipei 11031, Taiwan
                [4 ]Department of Clinical Pathology, Taipei Medical University Hospital , Taipei 11031, Taiwan
                [5 ]Department of Neurology, General Cathay Hospital , New Taipei City 22174, Taiwan
                [6 ]Department of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University Hospital , Taipei 11031, Taiwan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Li-Hsuan WangSchool of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University , 250 Wu-Hsing St., Taipei11031, Taiwan Email
                © 2020 Lei et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 14, References: 36, Pages: 9
                Original Research


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