TUESDAY, Nov. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For hospitalized patients with COVID-19, statins seem not to have a beneficial effect, and may even increase the risk of severe disease, according to a study published online Sept. 10 in PLOS ONE.

Samuel K. Ayeh, M.B.Ch.B., M.P.H., from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the association between statin use and COVID-19 disease severity in hospitalized patients admitted between March 1 and June 30, 2020.

The researchers found that 13.4 percent of the 4,447 patients who met the inclusion criteria were exposed to statins on admission (57.2 percent men). The relative risks for the average treatment effect of statins on COVID-19-related mortality and severe COVID-19 infection were 1.00 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.01; P = 0.928) and 1.18 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.11 to 1.27; P <0.001), respectively.

“Despite the apparent beneficial effect of statins on the outcomes of various infectious diseases, our study revealed that their specific use to treat COVID-19 is probably not merited,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Compared with earlier research, we looked at a larger and more widely varied inpatient population, and had better criteria for defining disease severity, thereby enabling our results to be more relevant for predicting the impact of statins on COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalized patients.”

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