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Statin medications may complicate asthma control

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Following unhealthy cholesterol test results, many individuals begin taking statin medications. But new research suggests that these drugs may worsen the health of individuals with asthma.

The investigators found that asthma sufferers taking stating medications were significantly more likely to experience inflammation and airway obstruction than those not taking cholesterol-lowering medications. This led to poorer disease management.

"The research showed patients taking statins more frequently used their rescue medication, had increased nighttime awakenings and had increased asthma symptoms throughout the day," said lead researcher Safa Nsouli, MD, of the Danville Asthma and Allergy Clinic, Calif. "These potential effects of statins on the inflammatory cascade of asthma indicate the need for a larger scale study."

Findings from the investigation could have wide implications. Statins are among the most commonly prescribed drugs. Additionally, rates of asthma are increasing. Many people could be affected by the asthma complications associated with statin use.

Still, the correlation observed does not necessarily prove that statins are the cause of poor asthma control, and the small sample size of the study makes it difficult to draw clear conclusions.

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