Statins Lower Death Risk in Adults Hospitalized With Flu

Statins given before or during hospitalization reduce mortality in adults with influenza

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In adults hospitalized for influenza virus infections, administration of statins before or during the hospitalization is associated with a reduced risk of mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Meredith L. Vandermeer, M.P.H., from the Oregon Public Health Division in Portland, and colleagues investigated whether treatment with statins reduced the risk of mortality in 3,043 adults hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infection. Of these, 1,013 adults received statins. Active surveillance data for the 2007 to 2008 influenza season, collected through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infections Program from 59 counties in 10 U.S. states, were analyzed.

The investigators found that 151 adults (5 percent) died within 30 days of their influenza test. Compared with patients who did not receive statins, those who received statins were more likely to be white, male, and older. Patients who received statins had a higher likelihood of having been vaccinated that season, and were more likely to have metabolic, renal, cardiovascular, or chronic lung disease. In a multivariable logistic regression model adjusted for confounding variables, statins administered prior to or during hospitalization correlated with a reduced likelihood of death (adjusted odds ratio, 0.59).

"Statin use may be associated with reduced mortality in patients hospitalized with influenza," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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