Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Statins and Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Disease

J Rheumatol; ePub 2018 Sep 1; Jorge, Lu, et al

Statin initiation was shown to reduce overall mortality in patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease (SARD) after adjusting for relevant determinates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, according to a recent study. Researchers conducted an incident user cohort study using a general population database that included patients with a SARD as determined by Read code diagnoses of systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, Sjögren syndrome, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, Behçet disease, or anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies-associated vasculitis. They compared propensity score–matched cohorts of statin initiators and non-initiators within 1-year cohort accrual blocks to account for potential confounders, including disease duration, body mass index, lifestyle factors, comorbidities, and medication use. They found:

  • Of 2,305 statin initiators, 298 died during the follow-up period (mean 5.1 years), whereas among 2,305 propensity score-matched non-initiators, 338 died during the follow-up period (mean 4.8 years).
  • This corresponded to mortality rates of 25.4/1,000 and 30.3/1,000 person-years, respectively.
  • Statin initiation was associated with reduced all-cause mortality (HR 0.84).


Jorge AM, Lu N, Keller SF, Rai SK, Zhang Y, Choi HK. The effect of statin use on mortality in systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases. [Published online ahead of print September 1, 2018]. J Rheumatol. doi:10.3899/jrheum.171389.