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Statins may protect against Clostridium difficile infection

A study in November's issue of Gut examines the risk of C. difficile infection with statin use.

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Statin use and the risk of Clostridium difficile in academic medical centres

Dr Christine Anne Motzkus-Feagans and colleagues from Virginia, USA estimated the possible relationship between statin use and the risk of healthcare facility onset Clostridium difficile.

Patients over 18 years of age admitted to hospitals contributing data to the University HealthSystem Consortium between 2002 and 2009 were eligible.

Patients with the ICD-9-CM code 008.45 who received a minimum 3-day course of either metronidazole or oral vancomycin on/after day 5 of admission were considered incident cases of C. difficile infection.

Niacin showed no association with the risk of C. difficile infection
Gut

The team identified 31,472 incident cases of C. difficile infection and matched to 5 controls, on hospital, year/quarter of admission date, and age ±10 years.

Patients who were administered one drug in the statin class before the index date were considered to be exposed.

Compared with non-users, the team found that users of any drug within the statin class were 0.78 times less likely to develop C. difficile infection in the hospital adjusting for potential confounders.

The research team found that differences in estimates for specific statins were minimal.

Niacin, fibrates and selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors showed no association with the risk of C. difficile infection.

Dr Motzkus-Feagans and colleagues conclude, "Our data were consistent with a growing body of literature demonstrating a reduced risk of infections with statin use."

"Statins' pleiotropic properties may provide protection against C. difficile infection."

Gut 2012; 61:1538-1542
03 October 2012

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