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Statins May Help Protect Against Severe COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Could cholesterol-lowering statins help lower your risk of dying from COVID-19?

For patients with a history of high blood pressure or heart disease, the answer seems to be yes. At least, that’s the conclusion of a new study that enrolled around 10,500 patients in 104 US hospitals between January and September 2020.

All had been admitted with a severe COVID-19 attack. Prior to hospitalization, 42% were taking statins to control their high cholesterol levels, 7% taking statins alone, and 35% taking both statins and blood pressure medications.

Ultimately, about a fifth of patients either died of COVID-19 or were referred to a hospice.

“[But] We found that patients taking statin medications before being hospitalized due to COVID-19 had a 41% lower risk of death during that hospitalization, even after adjusting for other factors such as age, gender, other medical conditions and the type of medical insurance they have. eu, ”said study author Dr Lori Daniels.

After analyzing data gathered by the American Heart Association, the team also concluded that statin use was also linked to a 25% lower risk of developing a “serious outcome” from an infection with the heart. COVID-19.

Why? Statins could have this effect by “stabilizing the underlying heart conditions for which they are prescribed, making patients more likely to recover from COVID-19,” said Daniels, director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at the ‘University of California at San Diego.

But not all statin patients have advanced heart disease, Daniels’ team noted. Many relatively healthy patients also take them proactively to avoid cardiovascular problems.

Which begs the question, could statins also reduce mortality in COVID patients who do not yet have serious underlying heart problems? Daniels suggested the jury was still out on this issue.

She noted that statins contain a potent, potentially useful anti-inflammatory effect. His team found that statins reduced the risk of death by 16% in patients with no history of heart disease.

Still, Daniels warned that for patients with good heart health, the trial results were “not statistically significant.” And “this study cannot tell us whether giving statins to patients, if they are not already taking them, would be helpful,” she said.