July 25, 2005-- Posted at 4:15 PM CDT
(HealthDay News) -- Cholesterol-busting drugs called statins can also reduce the risk of death by pneumonia in hospitalized patients, according to a study in the journal Respiratory Research.
Researchers found that pneumonia patients who were taking a statin (which include drugs such as Lipitor, Pravachol, and Zocor) when they entered the hospital were 2.8 times less likely to die than patients who were not on these drugs.
Statins are known to affect the immune system, and that could explain their effect on pneumonia patients, speculate researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Pneumonia is the leading cause of death from infection in the United States, killing up to 40,000 people every year.
The National Institutes of Health has more about pneumonia www.nlm.nih.gov.
SOURCES: Respiratory Research, news release, July 25, 2005