A trial reveals that the statin Crestor is not effective for reducing delirium and related cognitive impairment in ill patients with sepsis-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Participants in the multicenter, nationwide Patients in the Statins for Acutely Injured Lungs from Sepsis (SAILS) trial who were treated with rosuvastatin were no less likely to experience delirium while hospitalized in intensive care than patients in the placebo arm of the study, and the two groups had similar rates of cognitive impairment at 6- and 12-months follow-up.

The findings do not support those of previous preclinical and observational studies showing statins to be associated with reduced daily delirium in intensive care, researcher Dale Needham, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues wrote in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, published online Jan 28.

Delirium is very common in critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients, occurring in as many as 80%, in one study. Delirium is also strongly associated with cognitive impairment lasting for a year or more after discharge.

In an email exchange, Needham told MedPage Today that more than 70% of the patients in the SAILS study who required invasive mechanical ventilation due to sepsis-associated ARDS experienced delirium during their ICU stay.

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