The effect of statin therapy on disease-related outcomes in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Jee Whang Kim, Kirsty Barrett, Yoon Loke, Andrew M Wilson

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Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease and antifibrotic therapies do not reverse existing fibrosis. There has been emerging evidence of potential role for statins in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The aim of this review is to synthesise the evidence on the efficacy of statins in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, focusing on associations with all-cause mortality, disease specific mortality and change in pulmonary function.

Methods: Medline and Embase were reviewed to identify relevant publications. Studies were selected if they examined disease related outcomes including mortality, pulmonary function and adverse events in people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis receiving statin therapy.

Results: Five studies with a total of 3407 people with IPF were selected and analysed. The overall risk of bias of five included studies was moderate to serious. In the fixed effect meta-analysis, statin use was associated with a reduction in mortality (RR 0.8; 95% CI 0.72-0.99). However, in the random effects model, there was no longer any significant association between statin use and all-cause mortality (RR 0.87; 95% CI 0.68-1.12). There was no statistically significant association between statin use and decline in FVC % predicted.

Conclusion: There is currently insufficient evidence to conclude the effect of statin therapy on disease-related outcomes in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Considering the limitations of available literature, we would recommend a prospective cohort study with capture of dosage and preparation of statin, statin adherence and use of concurrent antifibrotic treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100792
JournalRespiratory Medicine and Research
Early online date2 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Mortality
  • Statin

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