Statins may help reduce flu severity


December 14, 2011 2:05:25 PM PST
Most people know of statins as drugs to lower cholesterol. Now, preliminary research suggests the medications may also help reduce the flu's severity, maybe even prevent flu deaths.

A study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases followed 3,000 people hospitalized with influenza. Those on statins were found to be 41 percent less likely to die.

The drugs may have anti inflammatory properties that lessen the damage of the influenza virus.

But, don't pass on the flu shot or other protections just yet. Researchers want their findings to be confirmed in a larger trial.