Statins in the treatment of COPD and asthma — where do we stand?

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HighlightsStatin has pleotropic effects on systemic and airway inflammation seen in preclinical trials.Observational studies have shown reduction in lung function decline, exacerbations and quality of life.Randomized controlled trials do not show effectiveness of statin in reducing exacerbations and mortality.Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the two most prevalent obstructive lung diseases that account for tremendous morbidity and mortality throughout the world. These diseases have strong inflammatory components, with multiple prior studies showing elevated levels of various inflammatory markers and cells in those with COPD and asthma. Therefore, efforts to target inflammation in management of these diseases are of great interest. Statins, which define a class of drugs that are HMG-CoA inhibitors, are used to decrease cholesterol levels and have also been described to have many pleotropic effects that include anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. These properties have led to multiple studies looking at the potential use of statins in decreasing inflammation in many diseases, including COPD and asthma. This review aims to address the current evidence behind the potential use of statins in the treatment of asthma and COPD.

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