Statins could cut mortality rate for flu patients

Washington: Cholesterol-busting drugs or statins offer a ray of hope for people infected with severe flu by keeping mortality at bay, a study reveals.

"We may be able to combine statins with antiviral drugs to provide better treatment for patients seriously ill with influenza," said William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, who co-authored the study with Meredith Vandermeer.

They studied 3,043 flu infected adults between 2007-2008, to evaluate the link between statins and flu-related deaths. More than a third of them had been given statins, before or during hospitalisations, reported the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

They found that patients not receiving statins were almost twice as likely to die from flu as those who received the medication. Schaffner stressed that receiving the influenza vaccine each year is still the best defence against flu, a university statement said.


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