Statins and the risk of cirrhosis in hepatitis B or C patients: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of observational studies

Yaqin Wang, Jianping Xiong, Meng Niu, Xiaowei Chen, Long Gao, Qirun Wu, Kechuang Zheng and Ke Xu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:59666-59676. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19611

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Yaqin Wang1,*, Jianping Xiong2,*, Meng Niu1, Xiaowei Chen1, Long Gao1, Qirun Wu1, Kechuang Zheng1 and Ke Xu1

1Department of Interventional Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China

2Department of Liver Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College (CAMS & PUMC), Beijing, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Ke Xu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: statins, cirrhosis, fibrosis, meta-analysis

Received: March 10, 2017     Accepted: July 18, 2017     Published: July 27, 2017


Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are leading causes of chronic liver disease, particularly cirrhosis. Recently, several studies have observed that statins have an inverse relationship with cirrhosis in hepatitis B or C patients. However, no published meta-analysis studied the protective effect of statins on cirrhosis. Thus, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published observational studies to better understand the relationship between statins and the risk of cirrhosis. Relevant studies were identified by searching PubMed, EMBASE, and ISI Web of Science for articles published before April 2017. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used to evaluate the quality of the included studies. Six cohort studies, including 38951 cases of cirrhosis in 263573 patients with hepatitis B or C, were identified to investigate the relationship between statins and the risk of cirrhosis. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale scores for the included studies ranged from 6 to 9, with four high-quality studies and only two of medium quality. The use of statins was associated with a significant 42% reduction in the risk of cirrhosis, without obvious heterogeneity. In addition, this protective effect was more obvious in Asian countries. Moreover, dose-response analysis suggested each additional 50 cumulative defined daily doses (cDDD) of statins decreases the risk of cirrhosis by 11% (odds ratio [OR] = 0.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.86–0.93, p = 0.001). In summary, statin use is associated with a decreased incidence rate of cirrhosis and is most pronounced in Eastern countries but also in Western countries.

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