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Statins and bird flu

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:01 am
by gibbledygook
This is from the Times on 4 October 2006: "Statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs prescribed to two million pepole in Britain each year, could play a pivotal role in combating a flu pandemic, scientists believe. Early evidence suggests that the cheap, readily available drugs are a potential treatement for virulent influenza strains suchs as H5N1, which has killed 148 people in Asia. ... In a letter to the Times, three eminent flu researchers argue that while the effectiveness of statins against flu remains uncertain, the strength of the preliminary evidence and their huge potential advantages make such studies essential...Statins...are known to damp down an extreme immune system response called a cytokine storm...Studies of patients who were already taking statins to lower cholesterol levels, who then contracted pneumonia or bacteraemia, have suggested that the drugs reduce death rates dramatically."
Well, I don't know whether statins weaken virii as well as damp down the immune response but I'm definitely keen on taking them especially in the viral season! Still waiting for my doctor's meeting. :)