Statin Use Associated With Decreased Mortality Risk in Patients With COVID-19

Statin pills for patient with high cholesterol
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis to assess the effects of statin use on mortality outcomes in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Use of statins was associated with a decreased risk of mortality in patients with COVID-19 infection, according to results of a meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, researchers examined 25 cohort studies that included a total of 147,824 patients with COVID-19 to determine the adjusted effects of statin use, including chronic use or in-hospital administration, on the risk of mortality.

Of patients included in the study, the mean age range was 44.9 to 70.9 years, 57% were men, and 32% were treated with statins. Chronic use of statins was reported in 20 studies and 5 studies reported in-hospital statin administration. Only 8 studies reported statin type, for which the most common were atorvastatin (71%), rosuvastatin (13%), and simvastatin (13%). Hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes were the most frequently observed comorbidities.

In 19 studies with a total of 114,881 patients, statin use was not associated with significantly increased mortality in those with SARS-CoV-2 infection (unadjusted risk ratio, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.86-1.57; I2=99%). However, results of 11 studies with a total of 102,996 patients showed that statins were associated with significantly decreased mortality (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.67; 95% CI, 0.52-0.86; I2=79%), with similar results noted in 10 studies with a total of 44,033 patients (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.58-0.91; I2=64%).

In subgroup analyses, only chronic use of statins was found to be associated with significantly decreased mortality.

The study was limited by its inclusion of 7 studies with an increased risk of bias, the increased heterogeneity among all pooled effect estimates, and potential selection bias in regard to differences in disease severity with its inclusion of both outpatients and patients admitted to an intensive care unit.

“Large randomized controlled trials are still needed to confirm these findings,” the researchers concluded.


Diaz-Arocutipa C, Melgar-Talavera B, Alvarado-Yarasca A, et al. Statins reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19: an updated meta-analysis of 147 824 patients. Int J Infect Dis. 2021;110:374-381. doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2021.08.004