Heart Drug Works for Asthma

The same drug that lowers cholesterol is helping to keep asthma under control, according to a study done at Boston's Brigham and Woman's hospital.

Adults taking standard asthma drugs plus a cholesterol drug called a statin were able to cut their asthma-related visits to a hospital by one third compared to asthma patients not taking statins.

"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 study author Dr. Robert Epstein.  Dr. Epstein is affiliated with Medco Health Solutions, Inc., which is a pharmaceutical mail order company.

The reason why statins work for asthma are unclear.  But it's believed that statins reduce inflammation in the body which contributes to making asthma worse.

Other studies suggest that statins also reduce the risk from pneumonia, blood clots and even of developing Alzheimer's disease.

The statin study on asthma was revealed at a meeting of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology in Washington D.C.

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