Reuters ran a story today about a new study on the apparent benefits of statin usage in providing a measurable protection against death from pneumonia and seasonal influenza. For an earlier post on Statin use during an Influenza Pandemic see here.
(Reuters) -- People who use statin drugs are less likely to die of influenza and chronic bronchitis, according to a study that shows yet another unexpected benefit of the cholesterol-lowering medications. Their study of more than 76,000 people showed that those who had taken statins for at least 90 days had a much lower risk of dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, the technical name for emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
"This study found a dramatically reduced risk of death from COPD among statin users and a significantly reduced risk of death from influenza/pneumonia," the researchers wrote in their report, published in the journal Chest. "These findings suggest that moderate-dose statin use reduces the risk of influenza/pneumonia death and strongly suggest that statins reduce the risk of COPD death."
In 2006, researchers in Canada reported that statins act against sepsis, a dangerous blood infection, and a 2005 study found the death rate was 64 percent lower in pneumonia patients who had been taking statins.
As I stated in the first post on this concept: No one knows if the benefits found with seasonal influenza and statin usage would have any translatable benefit to an Avian Influenza Pandemic. But given the potential benefit weighed against the potential risks it seems a worth wild avenue of exploration.
Also in the previous post, and as stated above, it isn't something that you can begin taking the day you think you may have been infected. At minimum, it is assumed that taking it for thirty days would be needed to confer benefit, and this paper looked at ninety days as the measure. Either way, it will require preplanning and advance supplying. You should bring in your supply prior to a pandemic because it is believed that there will be no medication resupply during a severe pandemic.
See my previous entry to read about the natural alternative to prescription statins, Red Yeast Rice.