Volume 101, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Statins have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties that may affect the development of tuberculosis (TB). We assessed the association between use of statins and the risk of active TB by propensity score matching. Furthermore, we analyzed the impact of statins on TB in patients according to the presence or absence of diabetes. The study was based on the National Health Insurance database and its subset database of the “medical checkup” population of South Korea. We identified 123,468 statin users and 439,546 non–statin users. After propensity score matching, 28,018 statin users and the same number of non–statin users were finally analyzed. The development of active TB was monitored in these matched pairs over 11 years. In the propensity score–matching analysis, the number of active TB cases was 30 in 30,303 person-years (0.99 per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI, 0.64–1.35) in the statin users and 235 in 167,857 person-years (1.40 per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.22–1.58) in the non–statin users. Statin users had a significantly lower risk of TB than non–statin users: hazard ratio (HR) 0.67 (95% CI, 0.46–0.98) ( = 0.04). A subgroup analysis showed that statin use reduced the risk of TB in subjects without diabetes, but not in patients with diabetes: HRs were, respectively, 0.28 (95% CI, 0.13–0.60) ( = 0.001) and 1.05 (95% CI, 0.66–1.67) ( = 0.84). There is epidemiologic evidence that statin decreases the risk of active TB. However, the protective effect of statins against TB is attenuated by diabetes.


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  • Received : 12 Dec 2018
  • Accepted : 28 May 2019
  • Published online : 01 Jul 2019
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