Asthma sufferers may soon have a new weapon against their condition.
A study suggests those taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs statins alongside inhaled corticosteroids are half as likely to require hospital attention.
Researchers at the University of Mississippi studied 479 patients on statins and inhaled corticosteroids, and 958 just taking corticosteroids.
'The most promising results yet': Researchers at the University of Mississippi studied 479 patients on statins and inhaled corticosteroids
At least one asthma-related hospitalisation was observed in 3.79 per cent of the first group, compared with 6.47 per cent of the second group.
Those on statins were much less likely to go to A&E – 4.18 per cent compared with 9.08 per cent.
Those on statins were much less likely to go to A&E
‘This is the most promising study yet,’ says consultant physician Dr Shahid Hamid, at Princess Royal University Hospital in Kent.
‘We know statins have uses beyond the treatment of heart conditions.
'They have anti-inflammatory properties, which means they have other – as yet mostly unexplored – purposes. Asthma is an inflammatory condition so there is clearly a link.’
He says doctors are aware patients admitted to hospital with pnuemonia have a better prognosis if given statins.
‘However, there has been controversy about taking statins for asthma and they may have unpleasant side effects.
‘It is still too soon to start prescribing statins as a matter of course. If you are on statins and have asthma, you must report any change in your condition,’ says Dr Hamid.
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