A study conducted by physicians at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York-Presbyterian found that people who took statins to lower cholesterol were 50 per cent less likely to die after Covid-19 hospitalisation.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Nature Communications.
“Our study is one of the larger studies confirming this hypothesis and the data lay the groundwork for future randomised clinical trials that are needed to confirm the benefit of statins in Covid-19,” says Aakriti Gupta, MD, a cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and one of the co-lead authors of the study.
Researchers mentioned that in addition to their cholesterol-lowering effect, statins can also be used for their anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, and immunomodulatory properties.
For the study, the authors analsed the outcomes for 2,626 patients with Covid-19 who were admitted to a quaternary academic medical center in Manhattan during the first 18 weeks of the pandemic.
The researchers compared 648 patients who regularly used statins before developing Covid-19 to 648 patients who did not use statins.
The researchers found that among the statin users, 96 (14.8 per cent) died in the hospital within 30 days of admission compared with 172 (26.5 per cent) of patients who did not use statins.
The researchers factored in other reasons behind such outcomes and found that statin use was significantly associated with a 50 per cent reduction in in-hospital mortality (within 30 days).
Patients on statins also had lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.
Statin use was not associated with a statistically significant decrease in the use of invasive mechanical ventilation (18.6 per cent in statin users vs. 21.9 per cent), days on a ventilator (13.5 vs 12.8), or length of hospital stay (7 vs 7).
Previous studies and meta-analyses from China also stated the same phenomenon of statin. However, these results may not apply to patients in Western countries who generally have more cardiovascular disease.
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