Findings of a recently published systematic review revealed that statins may protect against Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) development as well as improve the success of treatment. 

To investigate the association between these lipid-lowering agents and CDI, study authors searched MEDLINE to obtain clinical studies evaluating the effects of statins on CDI-related outcomes (ie, CDI development, severity, treatment success, etc.) in patients who were at risk for or who were diagnosed with CDI. A review of literature citations was also performed in order to identify additional references. 

The review included 8 total studies: 5 that evaluated CDI development, 1 that analyzed treatment response against CDI, and 3 that assessed mortality from CDI. Findings of the analysis revealed that statin use was associated with a decreased risk of CDI development as well as improved treatment response against CDI. The study authors also reported that only 1 of the 3 studies that evaluated mortality from CDI found significant mortality benefit in patients taking statins. 

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“Currently, no evidence supports initiating a statin in statin-naive patients who develop CDI or in patients at high risk of developing CDI, but statins may prove to be an attractive adjunctive treatment in addition to standard therapy,” the study authors noted. “Larger, prospective studies are needed to confirm current results and identify the specific population that may benefit the most from this intervention.”

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This article originally appeared on MPR