Statins exert multiple benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, immunomodula-tory, and antithrombotic effects. An analysis of data from 69,168 patients with atherosclerosis in Ontario, Canada, suggests that statins might help reduce the risk of sepsis as well.
During a mean follow-up of two years, 551 patients who were given statins and 667 patients in the non-statin group were admitted for sepsis. Statins were associated with a 19% lower risk of sepsis. The apparent protective association was consistent for several high-risk subgroups throughout the entire follow-up.
Earlier research had suggested that statins substantially reduce inflammatory cytokines and the overproduction of nitric oxide, which is implicated in the vasodilation and circulatory collapse of septic shock, the researchers say. In addition to their effects on the host, statins also seem to lessen the replication and infectivity of several bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens.