Common cholesterol-lowering drug may lower COVID-19 severity, death risk

Credit: Unsplash+

Statin drugs lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by slowing down the liver’s production of cholesterol.

They also increase the liver’s ability to remove LDL cholesterol that is already in the blood.

In a study from the University of Central Florida, scientists found that commonly used cholesterol-lowering statins may reduce the risk of death and severity of COVID-19 disease.

They found statins decrease inflammation, which may help reduce the severity of COVID-19

The study clearly showed regular statin use is associated with a reduced risk of death and improved outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The retrospective study is one of the most extensive of regular statin use in patients with COVID-19.

In the study, the team analyzed the electronic medical records of 38,875 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at 185 hospitals in the United States between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2020.

Of those patients, 30% regularly used statins to treat high cholesterol. Statin users had a 37% lower risk of dying from COVID-19 than those who didn’t use statins.

In addition, regular statin users were significantly less likely to be discharged to hospice, be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) or develop blood clots.

They also had shorter hospital stays and spent less time on a ventilator.

While COVID-19 itself causes inflammation, in some cases the immune system creates further inflammation by responding too aggressively to the infection.

This extreme reaction causes much of the damage to the body, including difficulty breathing and damage to the lungs, kidneys, heart, brain and vascular system.

The anti-inflammatory actions of statins “cool the process” so that the disease is not as severe.

One in four Americans over the age of 40 take statins to lower their cholesterol and reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, according to the American Heart Association, making them one of the most commonly prescribed drugs.

This research suggests the importance of evaluating medications that could be repurposed to help patients in ways other than their intended use.

The results suggest statins could be an additional cost-effective solution against COVID-19 disease severity and should be studied further.

If you care about COVID, please read studies that Vitamin D level could predict severity of COVID-19, and how vitamin B may help fight COVID-19.

For more information about COVID, please see recent studies about people who are 5 times more likely to get COVID-19, and scientists find antibodies that can neutralize Omicron.

The study was conducted by Ettore Crimi et al and presented at the Anesthesiology 2022 annual meeting.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.