Statin is a drug that is known to have a cholesterol-lowering effect. Moreover, it also has several other properties such as anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and anticoagulant.
A recent study has shown that individuals who take statins as a measure to keep their cholesterol under control are about 50% less likely to die if they are hospitalized for the novel COVID-19. This study might lead to a significant boost in the Statins Market as it might be a potential therapy for COVID-19, which is both feasible and effective.
The researchers undertook a study in which they analyzed 2,626 patients suffering from Coronavirus. They looked at their outcomes for the first 18 weeks while they were admitted to a medical center. They compared 648 patients who regularly took statins before developing COVID-19 to other 648 who didn’t use the drug. Patients in each group were thoroughly matched so that components of demographics, co-morbidities, or use of other types of medications didn’t induce false results.
Researchers found that the patients who had a habit of using statins died at a percentage of14.8% (96 patients) within 30 days of admission, whereas people who did not take the drug died at a percentage of 26.5% (172 patients).
Upon factoring of other differences within patients, it was noted that usage of statins led to a 50% reduction in in-hospital mortality, i.e., within 30 days. Moreover, as an added benefit, patients using this drug also seemed to have lower C-reactive protein levels, which is a marker for inflammation. However, statins use was nowhere associated with a statistical decrease in the use of invasive mechanical ventilation (18.6% in statins users and 21.9% in non-users). Days spent on a ventilator by patients (13.5% by statins users and 12.8% by non-users) or length needed to stay in a hospital (7 are both types of patients).
In addition to this current study, a meta-analysis was done in China which also had similar suggestions. It concluded that there was a probablity that statins users had survival benefits against Coronavirus. However, since patients in Western countries usually suffer more from cardiovascular disease, the result of the study may not apply to them.
Although researchers had taken sue precautions while doing the study and have compared closely matched participants with each other. As it is a retrospective analysis, there could be several unknown factors that could explain the results achieved. The only way through which actual benefits of statins inCOVID-19 patients can be surmised is by organizing randomized clinical trials.
Several such randomized are underway currently. Taking a step further, researchers are also looking at the situation of statins being able to prevent hospitalization in outpatients. Furthermore, it might be able to lower the risk of death if given to patients while they are hospitalized.
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