(HealthDay News) — Statin use might help reduce major complications after lung surgery, according to a study published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

The researchers randomly assigned 164 study participants to receive atorvastatin or an inactive placebo before and after lung resection. The intervention began 1 week before surgery and continued for 1 week postoperatively.

Complications — such as pneumonia, myocardial infarction and acute respiratory failure — were reported in 22% of patients receiving placebo, compared with 12% taking statins (P=.13). For patients undergoing major anatomic resection, there were 24 complications in 15 of 45 placebo-treated patients and eight complications in seven of 43 atorvastatin-treated patients (P=.04).

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In a news release from the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the study authors noted that a larger controlled study is needed to further investigate the potential benefits of statins for lung surgery patients before recommending them as standard clinical practice.


  1. Amar D et al. J Thorac Cardiovasc. 2015;149(6):1532-1538.