Statins Don’t Lower Pneumonia Risk

Taking popular cholesterol-lowering statin drugs does not lower the risk of pneumonia, according to a study published the British Medical Journal.

There was some hope that statins could help prevent certain infections. But the study, which involved 65- to 94-year-olds with intact immune systems, found that pneumonia risk was, if anything, slightly higher in people using a statin than in those not using any.

Researchers emphasized that statins work well for what they were designed to do, such as lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Published 16 June 2009, doi:10.1136/bmj.b2137
Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2137

Editor’s Note: New research continues to show that other factors are greater indicators of heart disease and stroke such as C-reactive protein levels and homocysteine levels.

Learn more about harmful effects of statins.