donation
To request Mental Health
Services or to access Mental
Health Crisis Services Call:
1-800-375-4357

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Delta Variant Convinced Many to Get Vaccinated: PollOver Half of American Children Have Detectable Lead Levels in Their BloodSmartphone Apps May Aid in Heart Attack RecoveryBetter Diet, More Exercise Equals Better Blood PressureIntermittent Fasting Can Cut Your Risk of Diabetes, Heart DiseaseMask Mandates in Schools Curb Infections, CDC Studies ShowPfizer to Ask FDA Soon for Approval of Its COVID Vaccine for Younger ChildrenYou Think You Had COVID Before: Are You Really Immune Now?Keep Your Kids Safe From COVID While Playing SportsAHA News: Women May Be More Willing Than Men to Donate OrgansDNA Sensor Can Spot When COVID Is ContagiousTrials Show COVID Vaccines Well Worth It for Cancer PatientsCDC Endorses Booster Shots for Millions of AmericansChildhood Trauma Linked With Higher Odds for Adult Neurological IllsCancer in Hispanics: Good News and BadFDA Approves Pfizer Booster Shots for Seniors, High-Risk AmericansU.S. to Buy 500 Million More COVID Vaccine Doses for Global DonationAntibodies to Early Strains of COVID May Not Fight New Variants: StudyPregnant Women Who Get COVID Vaccine Pass Antibodies to NewbornsCDC Expert Panel to Weigh In on Vaccine BoostersWhich Kids Are at Highest Risk From COVID?4 Out of 10 Adults With No Known Heart Disease Have Fatty Hearts: StudyBooster Dose of J&J COVID Vaccine Increases ImmunityPost-Stroke Rehab: There's a Sweet Spot in the TimingCommon Form of Liver Cancer on the Rise in Rural AmericaCOVID Has Killed More Americans Than the Spanish Flu Did in 1918Telemedicine Gets High Marks for Follow-Ups After SurgeryPandemic Tied to Declining Birth Rates for U.S., Much of EuropeReview of Booster Shots for Moderna, J&J Vaccines Just Weeks Away: FauciDelta Variant Now Fueling 99% of U.S. COVID CasesLower Dose of Pfizer COVID Vaccine Works Well in Young Children, Company SaysFDA Panel OKs Pfizer Booster Shot forĀ  People 65 or Older, But Not YoungerPfizer, Moderna Vaccines Still Offer Good Protection Against Severe COVID: StudyTrial Into Antioxidant for Parkinson's Disease Yields Disappointing ResultsIs Flu Ready for a Comeback? Get Your ShotDrug Might Stop Heart Trouble Linked to Sickle Cell AnemiaChild Obesity Rose Sharply During PandemicFDA Advisory Panel to Meet on COVID Booster ShotsStatin Cholesterol Drugs May Help Fight Ulcerative ColitisAHA News: Physical Activity Is Helpful After a Stroke, But How Much Is Healthy?Special 'Strategies' Can Help People With Parkinson's Walk, But Many Patients UnawareEven When Undergoing Treatment, People With MS Gain From COVID VaccinesNIH Spending Nearly $470 Million on Long-Haul COVID StudyHospitalizing the Unvaccinated Has Cost U.S. Nearly $6 BillionIn 16 States, 35% or More Residents Now Obese: CDCPet Store Puppies Passing Drug-Resistant Bacteria to PeopleIs a Combo COVID/Flu Shot on the Way?1 in 500 Americans Has Died From COVID-19Having Even a Cousin or Grandparent With Colon Cancer Raises Your Risk: StudyBlood Cancer Patients Could Benefit From COVID Booster Shot: Study
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Statin Users May Have Added Protection Against Severe COVID-19

HealthDay News
by By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jul 20th 2021

new article illustration

TUESDAY, July 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Could cholesterol-lowering statins help lower your risk of dying from COVID-19?

For patients with a history of high blood pressure or heart disease, the answer appears to be yes. At least that's the conclusion of a new study that enlisted roughly 10,500 patients across 104 U.S. hospitals between January and September of 2020.

All had been admitted with a serious bout of COVID-19. Prior to hospitalization, 42% had been taking statins to rein in high cholesterol, with 7% taking statins alone and 35% taking both statins and blood pressure medications.

In the end, about a fifth of the patients either succumbed to COVID-19 or were discharged to a hospice setting.

"[But] we found that patients taking statin medications prior to getting hospitalized due to COVID-19 had a 41% lower risk of dying during that hospitalization, even after adjusting for other factors like age, gender, other medical problems, and what type of medical insurance they had," said study author Dr. Lori Daniels.

After analyzing data amassed by the American Heart Association, the team also concluded that statin use was similarly linked to a 25% lower risk for developing a "severe outcome" as a result of COVID-19 infection.

Why? Statins might have this effect by "stabilizing the underlying heart conditions for which they are prescribed, making patients more likely to recover from COVID-19," said Daniels, director of the cardiovascular intensive care unit at the University of California, San Diego.

But not all patients on statins have advanced heart disease, Daniels' team noted. Many relatively healthy patients also take them in proactively to stave off cardiovascular trouble.

Which begs the question, could statins also lower death among COVID patients who don't yet have serious underlying heart issues? Daniels suggested the jury is still out on that question.

She noted that statins pack a potentially helpful anti-inflammatory punch. Her team found that statins drove death risk down by 16% among patients with no prior history of heart disease.

Still, Daniels cautioned that for heart healthy patients, the trial results were "not statistically significant." And "the present study cannot tell us whether giving patients statins, if they are not already on them, would be helpful," she stressed.

"However, in other settings besides COVID-19, such as patients coming in with large heart attacks, studies have shown that giving statins up front -- early in the hospitalization to patients not already on them -- improves outcomes," Daniels said, reducing the risk for future heart attacks and death.

"So, there is precedent for statins making a difference quickly in hospitalized patients," she noted.

Even so, Dr. Gregg Fonarow -- director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center -- had a mixed reaction to the findings.

He acknowledged that there has long been interest in whether heart drugs -- including high blood pressure medications and statins-- might offer COVID-19 patients a leg up when it comes to lowering disease severity and fatalities.

"And a number of observational studies have suggested there were associations between prior or continued used of these medications and COVID-19 severity and clinical outcomes," noted Fonarow, who wasn't part of the study.

But he stressed that nailing down a potential benefit is very difficult, given the wide array of factors that can influence outcomes among COVID patients. And he pointed out that other trials involving heart patients struggling with COVID "have not found benefit or harms" linked to either class of medicines.

Still, Fonarow noted that additional trials are already underway. And "current guidelines recommend continuation of these therapies," he said.

Daniels and her colleagues published their findings July 15 in the journal PLOS ONE.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on COVID and heart patients.

SOURCES: Lori Daniels, MD, director, cardiovascular intensive care unit, University of California, San Diego; Gregg Fonarow, MD, director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, Los Angeles; PLOS ONE, July 15, 2021