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CHEST: Statins Can Slow Lung Function Decline in Smokers

Improvement seen regardless of smoking status, lung impairment

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Statins can slow the decline in lung function in current and former smokers, regardless of smoking status or level of lung impairment, according to a study presented Oct. 23 at CHEST 2006, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Walid G. Younis, M.D., and colleagues from the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City studied 182 current smokers and 303 former smokers and classified them according to the level of lung impairment. Of the patients, 238 took statins for an average of 2.7 years while the remaining patients did not receive statins.

The researchers found significant differences in the forced expiratory volume in one second, which fell by only 2.5 percent in the statin group compared with 12.8 percent in the controls. There were also significant differences in the forced vital capacity, which fell by 1.3 percent in the statin group, compared with 10.3 percent in the controls. The differences were observed regardless of smoking status or the type of lung disease.

"It is conceivable that long-term statin therapy could be used in smokers and former smokers to prevent and slow the progression of lung diseases," Younis said in a statement.


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