Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Statins Linked To Lower Risk Of Infection

Date:
April 6, 2007
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Researchers at Johns Hopkins may have discovered an unintended benefit in the drugs millions of Americans take to lower their cholesterol: The medications, all statins, seem to lower the risk of a potentially lethal blood infection known as sepsis in patients on kidney dialysis.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins may have discovered an unintended benefit in the drugs millions of Americans take to lower their cholesterol: The medications, all statins, seem to lower the risk of a potentially lethal blood infection known as sepsis in patients on kidney dialysis. Sepsis is the leading cause of death in non-coronary intensive care units in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. It also poses serious risk for kidney patients undergoing regular dialysis treatments.

Related Articles


The Hopkins researchers cautioned that kidney dialysis patients should not necessarily ask their doctors to put them on statins until more studies are done to verify their findings.

Building on earlier, limited studies that suggested risk reduction in animals and some people, Professor of Medicine, Director of the Welch Center and senior author Neil R. Powe, M.D., and his Johns Hopkins team followed 1041 dialysis patients for 10 years, dividing the subjects into those taking statins and those not.

"Those taking statins had a 41 in a 1,000 chance of being hospitalized for sepsis, while the other group not taking statins had a 110 out of 1,000 risk. Although the overall absolute risk is relatively small, the statin group's risk is dramatically lower," says Rajesh Gupta M.D., the study's lead author, who was a senior medical resident at Hopkins when the study was conducted.

Gupta says it remains unclear why or how statins work this way, "but the consistency of the findings with laboratory studies adds a lot of credence to the idea that statins are doing something substantial to reduce risk."

"Statins are known to have an effect on the body's immune system, but what that is exactly, and how many statin users it affects, is still not widely understood."

Statins may regulate the immune response to infection or fight microbes directly, Powe suspects. The study's authors also suppose that statins may work like penicillin, since the first statin was originally derived from a fungus which, it is theorized, secretes a statin as a way to starve other competing microorganisms that require cholesterol to survive.

The study included patients from 81 dialysis clinics across 19 states. Only those enrollees who were admitted to the hospital with sepsis were counted, in order to rule out any subjects who became septic during an unrelated hospital stay.

Only 14 percent of those initially enrolled in the study were on statins. Out of the 1,041 patients, there were a total of 303 hospitalizations for sepsis.

The study is published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Other investigators include Laura C. Plantinga, Sc.M., Nancy E. Fink, M.P.H., and Josef Coresh, M.D., Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins; Michal L. Melamed, M.D., M.H.S., at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, Caroline S. Fox, M.D., M.P.H., at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in Framingham, Mass.; and Nathan W. Levin, M.D., at the Renal Research Institute in New York.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Statins Linked To Lower Risk Of Infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070405170206.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2007, April 6). Statins Linked To Lower Risk Of Infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070405170206.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Statins Linked To Lower Risk Of Infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070405170206.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — A whole virus Ebola vaccine has been shown to protect monkeys exposed to the virus. Here&apos;s what&apos;s different about this vaccine. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins