Unintentional Discontinuation of Statins May Increase Mortality After Traumatic Brain Injury in Elderly Patients: A Preliminary Observation

Alessandro Orlando, David Bar-Or, Kristin Salottolo, Andrew Stewart Levy, Charles W Mains, Denetta S Slone, Patrick J Offner


Background: The abrupt discontinuation of statin therapy has been suggested as being deleterious to patient outcomes. Although pre-injury statin (PIS) therapy has been shown to have a protective effect in elderly trauma patients, no study has examined how this population is affected by its abrupt discontinuation. This study examined the effects of in-hospital statin discontinuation on patient outcomes in elderly traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients.

Methods: This was a multicenter, retrospective cohort study on consecutively admitted elderly (≥ 55) PIS patients who were diagnosed with a blunt TBI and who had a hospital length of stay (LOS) ≥ 3 days. Patients who received an in-hospital statin within 48 hours of admission were considered continued, and patients who never received an in-hospital statin were considered discontinued. Differences in in-hospital mortality, having at least one complication, and LOS > 1 week were examined between those who continued and discontinued PIS.

Results: Of 93 PIS patients, 46 continued and 15 discontinued statin therapy. The two groups were equivalent vis-a-vis demographic and clinical characteristics. Those who discontinued statin therapy had a 4-fold higher mortality rate than those who continued (n = 4, 27% vs. n = 3, 7%, P = 0.055). Statin discontinuation did not have a higher complication rate, compared to statin continuation (n = 3, 20% vs. n = 7, 15%, P = 0.70), and no difference was seen in the proportion with a hospital LOS > 1 week (P > 0.99).

Conclusions: Though our study is not definitive, it does suggest that the abrupt, unintended discontinuation of statin therapy is associated with increased mortality in the elderly TBI population. Continuing in-hospital statin therapy in PIS users may be an important factor in the prevention of in-hospital mortality in this elderly TBI population.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4021/jocmr1333w


Statin; Discontinuation; Traumatic brain injury; Trauma; Elderly

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