London: Asthma patients who take cholesterol-lowering drugs alongside inhaled corticosteroids are half as likely to require hospital attention, a new study has claimed.
Researchers at the University of Mississippi found that statins which have anti-inflammatory properties could be helpful in treating asthma which is an inflammatory condition, a newspaper reported.
"We know statins have uses beyond the treatment of heart conditions. They have anti-inflammatory properties, which means they have other as yet mostly unexplored purposes. Asthma is an inflammatory condition so there is clearly a link," consultant physician Dr Shahid Hamid, at Princess Royal University Hospital in Kent said.
The research studied 479 patients on statins and inhaled corticosteroids, and 958 just taking corticosteroids. At least one asthma-related hospitalisation was observed in 3.79 per cent of the first group, compared with 6.47 per cent of the second group.
"This is the most promising study yet, doctors are aware patients admitted to hospital with pnuemonia have a better prognosis if given statins," he was quoted by the paper as saying.
However, there has been controversy about taking statins for asthma and they may have unpleasant side effects.
"It is still too soon to start prescribing statins as a matter of course," Hamid said.