-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Jan. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Statins may help
prevent delirium in critically ill patients who were taking the
cholesterol-lowering drugs before they were admitted to hospital, a
new study suggests.
This beneficial effect may be due to the anti-inflammatory
effects of statins, said lead author Valerie Page, of the Watford
General Hospital in Watford, England, and colleagues.
The researchers looked at 470 intensive care patients. Of those,
only the 151 who had previously been taking statins were given
statins while in the hospital.
Patients who received statins the previous evening had a much
lower risk of delirium the next day, as well as reduced levels of a
marker for inflammation, the investigators found. Delirium is
described as a state of sudden, severe confusion.
The study was published Jan. 17 in the
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care
"Our findings suggest that statin treatment should be continued to help prevent delirium in critically ill patients who received statins before being admitted," Page said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society.
Although the study found an association between statin therapy
and reduced risk of delirium in hospitalized patients, it did not
prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
However, Page noted, another study in which people are randomly
assigned to either statins or an inactive placebo drug is currently
taking place among critically ill patients who are on ventilators,
to shed more light on the relationship between statin therapy and
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