Cholesterol Drugs May Worsen Asthma, Small Study Finds
Cholesterol drugs may worsen asthma, after a small study found that asthma sufferers’ breathing worsened after they began using a statin drug to lower cholesterol.
Asthma experts are surprised because previous studies have shown the drugs have anti-inflammatory properties that may help conditions like asthma.
The new study is to be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in Boston, reports WebMD.
Over the course of one year, the researchers followed 40 asthma patients who were treated at the same California clinic.
At the beginning of the study, twenty patients had just begun statin medications to lower cholesterol.
Twenty others who were not taking statins were followed for comparative purposes. All were nonsmokers who had been diagnosed with asthma for at least five years.
Patients were excluded from the study if an asthma attack had resulted in a hospital or emergency room admission in the eight months preceding the study, WebMD reports.
Other than asthma or high cholesterol, patients in the study were free of health problems, researchers say.
Doctors checked in with patients in the study every three months, asking about symptoms and medication use, as well as testing lung function.