Another ‘benefit’ of statins?

November 4, 2009


The ingenuity of the pharmaceutical industry is a cause for celebration – really why Gordon Brown hasn’t handed over the economy to them is a mystery to me.  Give them a problem, like say your drug for lowering cholesterol is now marked as causing health problems, and they wave their magic wand and come up with another use for it.

Now, based on a 2007-2008 analysis of 2,800 people hospitalized for flu complications during that period in Portland, USA, they are claiming that it can reduce your chances of dying from complications associated with flu by up to 50 percent.  This is good news if you are already on statins, and vulnerable to infection, but needs weighing up carefully against such as muscle pain and depression.

Statins do have anti-inflammatory effects and flu causes inflammation  and Professor VanderMeer, who conducted the research, told journalists that “Our preliminary research suggests there may be a role for statins in influenza treatment.”

Patients in the study were taking a range of statins, including atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), and simvastatin (Zocor) and they don’t know whether one drug or another performed better.  She confirmed that a randomized controlled trial is needed to confirm or refute the results, she said.  That’s a view endorsed by Andrew Pavia, MD, of the University of Utah who feels it is too early to suggest that statins might be used to treat the flu, but agreed that if you’re on statins for your cholesterol, you may be getting some extra benefit.


Article by  


What do you think of this health article by ? Join the discussion...