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New Study Suggests Cholesterol-Lowering Statins Reduce Severe Asthma Attacks that Result in Hospitalizations and Emergency Room Visits
Date:3/14/2009

Patients on corticosteroids are one-third less likely to need emergency room treatment or hospitalization when also taking statin medications

Study is first in a series to examine factors impacting patient response to asthma medications

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., March 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Results of a new study presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (AAAAI) show dramatic reductions in emergency room (ER) visits and hospitalizations for asthma patients taking cholesterol-lowering statins in addition to common asthma treatments. The study was jointly conducted by researchers from Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) and Brigham and Women's Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

In the first and largest investigation of statin effects on clinical outcomes in humans with asthma, researchers found that among adult patients on inhaled corticosteroids, those also taking statins reduced their odds of an asthma-related hospitalization or ER visit by 33 percent.

"The implications of this study are exciting because they point to the potential role statins could play in helping prevent the most serious asthma attacks that land patients in the hospital," said Dr. Robert Epstein, Medco's chief medical officer and one of the study authors. "There has been heightened interest in how the anti-inflammatory power of statins might benefit asthma patients and a number of animal studies have shown encouraging results. While the findings of this patient study should be considered preliminary and further clinical studies will be needed to draw any conclusions about care, they do show promise for the use of statins in asthma treatment. To that end, there are currently a number of prospective studies on this topic underway that
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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