statin medication can help protect you from severe COVID

How statin medication can help protect you from severe COVID

Medication,

Now we are more than 7 months into the COVID pandemic, and there is no vaccine available, nor any “magic bullet” treatment. Until either of these are available, our best attitude is to avoid infection—by distancing, masks, and hygiene measures. But is that all we can do? Actually, many of us can do more.

If we become infected by COVID, the most important factor that determines whether we get severe disease is our age, which we cannot control. But there are many other factors we can control. 

Factors we can control

After age, the most important determinant of how sick we might get with a COVID infection is the presence of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have been prescribed medication to control your blood pressure, take your medication faithfully and make sure your pressure is under control. If you do this, and become infected, you are less likely to suffer severe COVID complications.

Statins also help

The other thing you can do is to faithfully take your statin medication if you have been prescribed this type of medication. Statins are used to lower cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk of stroke and heart attack. You might be surprised to know that statin medications are one of the most commonly prescribed medications, yet a majority of people do not take them faithfully. This is unfortunate, as the data is now showing that people who take their statin as prescribed also have a significantly lower chance of severe disease if they get a COVID infection.

The reason is that the COVID virus not only attacks the respiratory tract and lungs, but also, in many people, it attacks their blood vessels as well. Blood clots in various parts of the body—even a cerebral vascular accident—are possible consequences of a severe COVID infection. Statins lower this possibility, as they decrease inflammation in the blood vessel walls, lowering the chance for clots, and stabilizing any vessel plaques, making them less likely to break off and cause a stroke. 

COVID mortality and statins

Research is now showing this benefit of statins for COVID. One study, mentioned in UCLAhealth.org (University of California, Los Angeles) showed a 9.4% mortality rate in hospitalized patients not taking statins, and a 5.2% mortality rate for those taking statins. 

Many doctors expect even better results for people who take blood pressure medication along with a statin. Ask your doctor about your particular situation, as the evidence is strongly pointing to the conclusion that both blood pressure and statin medication can do much to lower your chance of severe disease if you becoming infected with COVID. 

If you are a doctor (or an interested layperson) and want more technical details—including about the direct anti-viral activity of statins—check out these articles in the American Journal of Cardiology and The Scientist. 

To find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website: www.ProcuraMed.com.

See also in ProcuraMed:

Why blood pressure medication is so important during times of COVID

What are “statin” medications, and why people stop taking them

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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