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Statins and Flu Shots

Statins and Flu Shots Scaled Down the Impact of Influenza

Statins and Flu Shot

Research led by Meredith Vandermeer of Oregon’s Public Health Division with the help of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied 2,800 hospitalized people with the flu in 2007/2008. The relation between statins and flu shots can be observed in flu patients, those patients taking statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) Were 50% less likely to die from the infection than those not taking any form of statin.

Of the patients studied, 801 took statins dosage anyway and continued taking them while hospitalized. Seventeen H1N1 patients who were taking statins died either while in the hospital, or several weeks later, compared to 64 who were not taking statins, Vandermeer said.

Statins’ Impact on Treatments for Influenza

The conclusion gives concerns about H1N1 because they suggest that statins reduce the inflammatory symptoms common in both pandemic and seasonal influenza. These results may spark the pharmaceutical industry’s attention, hoping to extend the revenue of top-selling drugs through new disease indications. Meredith Vandermeer suggests that “there may be a role for statins in the treatments for influenza.”

It is not the first time a group has studied statins’ dual anti-inflammatory and anti-influenza benefits. In 2006 a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases, “Pandemic Influenza: A potential role for statins in treatment and prophylaxis”, suggested that statins had protective effects in bacteriemia, sepsis and pneumonia.

Research teams are now performing analysis to test the effectiveness of one brand over another. It is also suggested that statin benefits groups of patients by lowering inflammation. When a flood of chemicals and cells are summoned to fight viral and bacterial invaders, inflammation is part of the body’s immune response.

Commonly prescribed statins drugs include Crestor, Pravachol, and Lovastatin.


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