Side benefit of statin drug includes lower infection rates

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Some people must be asking themselves: Is there nothing statins can't do?

New research suggests that atorvastin (Lipitor) is not only successful at reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks, but also reduces the risk of acquiring a potentially fatal infectious disease.

In a study published Aug. 28 in The European Heart Journal, researchers found that those taking the drug the longest had a large reduction in deaths from infectious disease. These include parasitic diseases and deaths from respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive airways disease and acute respiratory diseases. While more research is needed, other studies have shown statins improve vascular function and reduce mortality from sepsis and community-acquired pneumonia.

“The long-term benefit unexpectedly is not protection against heart disease and stroke, but against other illnesses that appear to be linked to infection,” author Peter S. Sever, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of therapeutics at Imperial College London, told The New York Times.