Cholesterol-lowering drugs statins also protect against pancreatitis

Updated: Aug 22, 2012, 20:12 PM IST

London: Cholesterol-lowering drugs statins not only reduce death rates from heart disease and strokes, but can also protect people from pancreatitis, researchers say.

Some studies have suggested that the pills may raise people`s risk of inflammation of the pancreas, but a new review finds instead the drugs actually lower the risk of the condition.

The analysis at Glasgow University, involved pooling data from previous studies.

The Glasgow team, led by Dr David Preiss, examined the links between the use of statins and fibrates, both prescribed to combat high cholesterol.

“In patients with slightly elevated triglyceride levels, statins appear better supported by the data for preventing pancreatitis,” they wrote.

“By analysing all the available data from clinical trials, the researchers actually found that statins almost certainly decrease the risk of pancreatitis,” the Daily Express quoted Professor Jeremy Pearson, of the British Heart Foundation, as saying.

The study has been published in the medical journal Jama.