Infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) can lead to cirrhosis as well as liver cancer. A Hepatology study from Taiwan has found that statins may provide benefits to patients with HBV- or HCV-related cirrhosis.
When the liver fails to compensate for the functional overload resulting from disease, a situation called decompensation occurs. Decompensation significantly lowers the survival rate among patients with cirrhosis, and very few effective drugs are available. This latest study assessed information on 1350 cirrhotic patients identified from a representative group of Taiwan National Health Insurance beneficiaries from 2000 to 2013. Statin use was linked with a decreased the risk of decompensation in a dose-dependent manner.
"The study demonstrates a favorable outcome that should be re-confirmed by future prospective and large-scaled studies," said senior author Dr. Ching-Liang Lu. "Moreover, future investigations should also explore whether the favorable effect of statin use can also be extended to cirrhosis due to other causes, such as alcohol."