Statins have a significant effect on blood gene expression from COPD patients, according to a study published in PLOS ONE.

Researchers sought to investigate the effects of statins on blood gene expression in a cohort of well-phenotyped COPD patients and to determine whether the changes in blood gene expression could suggest potential benefits in COPD.

the study analyzed a subset of patients in the ECLIPSE (Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints) cohort. Blood was collected in PAXGene tubes and frozen at -80°C. A total of 619 subjects were selected for studying prognostic signatures of frequent COPD exacerbations. Out of the 619 subjects, 168 were statin users.

“Statins altered cholesterol homeostasis and metabolism pathways with no direct effect on known pathways related to respiratory diseases. The results suggest that reported benefits of statin use in COPD patients may mainly be driven by their effect on cholesterol homeostasis and the resulting cardiovascular protection,” the authors concluded.