Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is the leading cause of death from infection in developed countries. There is evidence of an association between improved survival from infection and statin use. The possible beneficial effects of statins are complicated by the common use of macrolide antibiotics for pneumonia, with current guidance suggesting that concurrent macrolide and statin use is contraindicated.
We conducted an observational study of statin use in patients with CAP. Of 2,067 patients with CAP, 30.4% were on statin therapy at admission. Statin users were more likely to survive the admission (p<0.001). In addition, we conducted a survey of doctors and found that knowledge regarding concurrent macrolide and statin use was lacking.
These data suggest a potential role of statins in the management of CAP. Further research using high-dose statins is required to assess their safe use in subjects with mild to moderate infections.