Is there any association between statin use and risk of venous thrombosis?

By Nadia Arshad, PhD TREC

medisin3A study published in British Medical Journal concludes that statins protect against first ever VTE events and that it might be a primary prevention tool for subjects without anticoagulation or antiplatelet medication.

In the study researchers have investigated the association between statin use and  incidence of venous thrombosis(VTE) in a population-based cohort study in Finland during the years 2000- 2011.

There is sufficient evidence that usage of lipid-lowering drugs called statins reduces the risk of arterial thrombosis. The impact of statins on VTE risk is less investigated. A randomized placebo-controlled study published in 2009 showed, however,  that treatment with Rosuvastatin caused a 48% reduction in the incidence of VTE. Statin treatment also reduced the risk of recurrent pulmonary embolism in a Dutch population-based study.  However, conflicting results have been reported from observational studies.

The Finnish study used a nationally representative sample of 8028 individuals aged 30 years or over from The Health Survey 2000 to investigate the association between statin use and the incidence of new VTE events  during 10-years of follow-up. They found that statin use was associated with a 40% risk reduction in VTE among statin users after adjusting for age, sex and other medications (blood glucose lowering drugs, insulin, anticoagulants). The most frequently prescribed statin in this study was Simvastatin (54% of patients).   

Reference: Lassila R, Jula A, Pitkaniemi J, et al. The association of statin use with reduced incidence of venous thromboembolism: a population-based cohort study. BMJ Open 2014; 4:1-7.


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