Long-Term Statin Use Linked to Lower Gallstone Risk
Study finds treatment for at least a year associated with a lower risk of serious gallstones
TUESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of statins is associated with a lower risk of gallstones that require surgery to remove the gallbladder, according to a study in the Nov. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Michael Bodmer, M.D., from University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, and colleagues compared the risk of gallstone disease among 27,035 patients with cholecystectomy (2,396 with statin use) and 106,531 matched controls (8,868 with statin use).
The researchers found that current statin use (with a prescription within 90 days of diagnosis) was associated with a lower risk of gallstones starting with five or more statin prescriptions, reflecting approximately 1 to 1.5 years of treatment (adjusted odds ratio, 0.85 for 5 to 19 prescriptions and 0.64 for 20 or more prescriptions). The risk of gallstones was higher with increasing body mass index and in those using estrogens.
"In summary, this large observational study provides evidence that long-term use of statins is associated with a decreased risk of developing a diagnosis of gallstone disease requiring cholecystectomy," Bodmer and colleagues conclude.
A variety of pharmaceutical industry relationships were disclosed; the authors report this study was not industry funded.