Statin use and risks of death or fatal rejection in the Heart Transplant Lipid Registry
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Although small, randomized trials have shown that statin use is associated with decreased risks of mortality and severe rejection, no study has examined statin therapy as used in actual practice in large numbers of heart transplant recipients. We analyzed data from the Heart Transplant Lipid Registry (n = 12 centers). Patients were included if they underwent transplantation between 1995 and 1999, survived >/=30 days after transplantation, and had >/=30 days of Registry follow-up. Multivariable Cox regression models, with propensity scoring performed to adjust for nonrandom allocation of statin therapy, were performed to determine the association of statin therapy with death and fatal rejection. The study included 1,186 patients, with a mean follow-up of 580 +/- 469 days; 937 patients (79%) received statin therapy. Overall, 71 patients (6%) died and 40 (3.4%) had fatal rejection. The statin group had a lower frequency of death (4% vs 13.7%, p <0.0001) and fatal rejection (2.4% vs 7.2%, p = 0.0001). Using multivariable Cox regression, with propensity scoring included to adjust for likelihood of receiving statin therapy, statin use was the only factor associated with lower risk of death (hazard ratio 0.29, 95% confidence interval 0.13 to 0.67) and fatal rejection (hazard ratio 0.27, 95% confidence interval 0.09 to 0.78). This study represents the largest population of heart transplant recipients analyzed for the relation between statin therapy and clinical outcomes in actual practice. Statin therapy was significantly associated with lower risk of death and fatal rejection, benefits that were independent of lipid values.