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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

could provide additional insights and direction."

There are half a million asthma-related hospitalizations and 217,000 ER visits each year. In the United States, hospital care costs for asthma reached $4.7 billion in 2007.

Study Details

The study included 6,574 adult patients who were prescribed inhaled corticosteroid therapy for asthma in 2006 and had one or more asthma-related hospitalizations or ER visits in the previous 12 months. The study followed these patients over a one-year period and compared those using a statin in conjunction with their asthma therapy to those who were not taking a statin.

The findings suggest that statins have a substantial positive impact on controlling asthma. While the incidence of a recurrent hospitalization or ER visit was 29.4 percent for those patients on a corticosteroid but not on a statin, it dropped to 20.5 percent for those patients taking both a corticosteroid and a statin, nearly a one-third reduction in risk.

This is the first in a series of studies that Medco is planning on asthma treatments. Future studies will examine factors that may be impeding the effectiveness of asthma medications.

"Controlling asthma can present tremendous challenges to patients and their physicians," said Dr. Scott Weiss, one of the study researchers and a Professor at Harvard Medical School. "We've known that even when people are compliant with their medications they can still fall victim to serious asthma attacks. Through our research efforts we hope to uncover the answers to why some people respond well to treatment and others do not. Statins may improve a medication's effectiveness, while factors like genetics and vitamin D deficiency may be impacting the benefits of these medications as well."

Inflammation and Asthma Treatments

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease caused by i
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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