Laurent Papazian, M.D., Ph.D., of Hôpital Nord, Marseille, France,
and colleagues conducted a study to determine whether statin therapy
decreased day-28 mortality among intensive care unit patients with
Observational studies have reported that statins improve outcomes of
various infections. Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is the most
common infection in the intensive care unit (ICU) and is diagnosed in
approximately 8 to 28 percent of ICU patients receiving mechanical
ventilation. Ventilator-associated pneumonia is associated with
increased mortality rates and high health care costs. New treatments are
needed to improve the outcomes of VAP, according to background
information in the article.
The trial, performed in 26 intensive care units in France from
January 2010 to March 2013, randomized 300 patients to receive
simvastatin (60 mg) or placebo, started on the same day as antibiotic
therapy and given until ICU discharge, death, or day 28, whichever
The study was stopped for futility at the first scheduled interim
analysis after enrollment of the 300 patients. The researchers found
that day-28 mortality was not lower in the simvastatin group (21.2
percent) than in the placebo group (15.2 percent). There were no
differences in day-14, ICU, or hospital mortality rates, or in duration
of mechanical ventilation.
“These findings do not support the use of statins [for] improving VAP outcomes,” the authors conclude.
Source: The JAMA Network (doi:10.l001/jama.2013.280031)
The presentation of this study at the ESICM is available at this link: