The Effects of Statins on Respiratory Symptoms and Pulmonary Fibrosis in COVID-19 Patients with Diabetes Mellitus: A Longitudinal Multicenter Study
Łos, Marek J.
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Abstract The aim of this prospective cohort study was to explore the effect of statins on long-term respiratory symptoms and pulmonary fibrosis in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Patients were recruited from three tertiary hospitals, categorized into Statin or Non-statin groups, and assessed on days 0, 28, and 90 after symptoms onset to record the duration of symptoms. Pulmonary fibrosis was scored at baseline and follow-up time points by high-resolution computed tomography scans. Each group comprised 176 patients after propensity score matching. Data analysis revealed that the odds of having cough and dyspnea were significantly higher in the Non-statin group compared to the Statin group during the follow-up period. Overall, there was no significant difference in the change in pulmonary fibrosis score between groups. However, Non-statin patients with > 5 years of DM were more likely to exhibit a significantly higher fibrosis score during the follow-up period as compared to their peers in the Statin group. Our results suggest that the use of statins is associated with a lower risk of developing chronic cough and dyspnea in diabetic patients with COVID-19, and may reduce pulmonary fibrosis associated with COVID-19 in patients with long-term (> 5 years) DM. Graphical Abstract