Wayne State Study shows inpatient statins benefit diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19

The study includes Research Associate Shweta Kapur, M.S., and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Prateek Lohia, M.D., M.H.A.
The study includes Research Associate Shweta Kapur, M.S., and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Prateek Lohia, M.D., M.H.A.

The use of statins in patients with diabetes who were hospitalized with COVID-19 is associated with reduced mortality, decreased admission to the intensive care unit and a lower need for mechanical ventilation.

Interestingly, the presence of diabetes mellitus was an important factor affecting this association between inpatient statins and clinical outcomes, said study co-author and Wayne State University School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Prateek Lohia, M.D., M.H.A.

“Statins and clinical outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with and without Diabetes Mellitus: a retrospective cohort study with propensity score matching," is published in the journal Cardiovascular Diabetology.

School of Medicine Research Associate Shweta Kapur, M.S., worked with Dr. Lohia to lead the study, which included contributions from Department of Internal Medicine Chair and Professor Safwan Badr, M.D., M.B.A.; Internal Medicine residency graduate Sindhuri Benjaram, M.D.; and Internal Medicine residents Zachary Cantor, D.O., Navid Mahabadi, D.O., and Tanveer Mir, M.D.

For the study, a total of 922 patients were classified into statin and non-statin groups based on the administration of statins during hospitalization. Of the 922 patients, 413 had a history of diabetes. About 27.1% of patients in the total cohort and 32.9% in the diabetes cohort received inpatient statins. Atorvastatin was the most commonly prescribed statin medication, with 82% of patients receiving it.

Patients with diabetes who received inpatient statins had close to a 60% reduction in all-cause mortality, about a 40% reduction in the need for ICU admission and about a 55% decrease in the need for mechanical ventilation compared to patients with diabetes who did not receive inpatient statins. None of the clinical outcomes explored had any significant association with inpatient statin use in the COVID-19 patients without diabetes.

The data were collected from COVID-19 positive patients admitted between March 10, 2020, and June 30, 2020, to two hospitals in the Detroit metropolitan area catering to an underserved, majority Black population.

A study based on research from Dr. Lohia’s lab, published earlier this year, looked at the association between the use of statins as home medication and clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

“Building upon our previous work, this study identifies a reduction in the severe disease outcomes among antecedent statin users who were continued on statins in the hospital, compared to those whose statins were discontinued in the hospital,” Dr. Lohia said. “To our knowledge, this is the only published study from the United States that has looked at the continuation of statins in the hospital in COVID-19 patients.

“Our findings indicate that the continuation of statin therapy seems to be safe in hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were using statins as home medications, unless they present with one of the contraindications for statin administration, although randomized control trials are warranted to provide the best level of evidence,” Dr. Lohia added.


About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit research.wayne.edu.

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Julie O'Connor

Director, Research Communications
Phone: 313-577-8845
Email: julie.oconnor@wayne.edu