Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 59, Issue 8, pp 1958–1965 | Cite as

Statin Use in Patients with Cirrhosis: A Retrospective Cohort Study

  • Sonal KumarEmail author
  • Norman D. Grace
  • Amir A. Qamar
Original Article



Statins reduce cardiovascular risk. Patients with cirrhosis have decreased hepatic clearance of statins and potentially increased risk for complications. No studies assess mortality in patients with biopsy-confirmed cirrhosis.


Compare mortality in patients with cirrhosis on statins to those not on statins.


A retrospective cohort study evaluated patients from 1988 to 2011 at Partners Healthcare Hospitals. The Partners Research Patient Data Registry identified patients with biopsy-proven cirrhosis on statins at biopsy and at least 3 months following. Controls were matched 1:2 by age, gender and Child–Pugh class. Decompensation was defined as ascites, jaundice/bilirubin >2.5 mg/dL, and/or hepatic encephalopathy or variceal hemorrhage. Primary outcome was mortality. Secondary outcome was decompensation in baseline-compensated patients. Chi-square and two-way ANOVA testing compared groups. Cox proportional hazards models for mortality controlled for age, Child–Pugh class, diabetes, coronary artery disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Kaplan–Meier curves graphed mortality.


Eighty-one statin users and 162 controls were included. Median follow-up: 36 months in statin users and 30 months in controls. 70.4 % of patients were Child–Pugh A. Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD), albumin, varices and beta-blocker use were not significantly different between groups. Statin users had lower mortality on multivariate analysis (HR 0.53, p = 0.01), and Child–Pugh A patients had longer survival on Kaplan–Meier analysis. Cox multivariate analysis for decompensation showed lower risk of decompensation with statins while increased decompensation with low albumin, high MELD score and beta-blocker use.


In patients with cirrhosis, statin therapy is not associated with increased mortality and may delay decompensation.


Statins Cirrhosis Decompensation Child–Pugh 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonal Kumar
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Norman D. Grace
    • 1
  • Amir A. Qamar
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Weill Cornell Medical CollegeNew York Presbyterian HospitalNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Lahey Hospital and Medical CenterBurlingtonUSA

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