The recent Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology had an article about statins and asthma. The attention was not just for these drugs’ cholesterol-lowering properties, but also their immune-modulatory and anti-inflammation effects.
You might remember that several years ago there was concern for a possibly highly lethal global flu pandemic. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended stockpiling not only anti-flu medication, but also statins. This is because they can prevent death from an otherwise lethal flu infection thanks to these bonus effects they include.
Well, apparently these same benefits are leading to better asthma outcomes.
A longtime study comparing two asthma groups, one of which was on statins, showed reduction in both rescue inhaler and steroid-burst use and fewer ER visits for the group on statins.
Also of interest are new guidelines for statin use. These new recommendations are to use lower doses, as it seems a large part of the benefit of statins in heart disease is owing to their reducing blood vessel inflammation, not just cholesterol levels. This anti-inflammation effect occurs with lower doses, which are less likely to lead to side effects.