Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Statins and Effect on Pneumonia: True Effect or Bias?

Here is an elegant article published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Do statins truly have an anti-inflammatory effects that  positively impact certain infectious diseases? In this case, the focus is on the use of statins, in patients status post a myocardial infarction (heart attack) and the protective impact on pneumonia. The protective effect  of statins on pneumonia in these patients is based observational data where treatments were not assigned randomly.  Using sophisticated staistical modeling, the protective effects of statins were assessed by excluding the effect of non-random assignment (bias) .

The finding? After controlling for non-randomization, the protective effect of statins against pneumonia was most likely the result of nonrandom treatment assignment, in other words, bias.

Be cautious of bias when interpreting study results, particularly with non-randomized,observational data.

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