Background: The immune modulating properties of statins may benefit smokers with asthma. We tested the hypothesis that short-term treatment with atorvastatin improves lung function or indices of asthma control in smokers with asthma.
Methods: Seventy one smokers with mild to moderate asthma were recruited to a randomized double-blind parallel group trial comparing treatment with atorvastatin (40 mg per day) versus placebo for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks treatment inhaled beclometasone (400 μg per day) was added to both treatment arms for a further 4 weeks. The primary outcome was morning peak expiratory flow after 4 weeks treatment. Secondary outcome measures included indices of asthma control and airway inflammation.
Results: At 4 weeks, there was no improvement in the atorvastatin group compared to the placebo group in morning peak expiratory flow [-10.67 L/min, 95% CI -38.70 to 17.37, p = 0.449], but there was an improvement with atorvastatin in asthma quality of life score [0.52, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.87 p = 0.005]. There was no significant improvement with atorvastatin and inhaled beclometasone compared to inhaled beclometasone alone in outcome measures at 8 weeks.
Conclusions: Short-term treatment with atorvastatin does not alter lung function but may improve asthma quality of life in smokers with mild to moderate asthma.
Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00463827.