Study: Statins reduce risk of bloodstream infections by 27%

Patients who take statins for heart disease prevention have a 27 percent reduced risk of experiencing a Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection outside the hospital setting, according to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

For the study, researchers analyzed the health records of nearly 30,000 people compiled between 2000 to 2011 in Danish medical registries. The researchers identified 2,638 cases of S. aureus bloodstream infections contracted outside of the hospital setting. The team then compared these cases with 26,379 controls matched for age, sex and residence.

Individuals taking statins displayed a 27 percent lower risk of contracting S. aureus infections compared to their matched counterparts. This decreased risk was even more pronounced among elderly adults with diabetes, kidney disease or liver disease.

"Our results indicate that statins may have an important place in the prevention of bloodstream infection caused by S. aureus, which would hold important clinical and public health implications," said Jesper Smit, MD, PhD, a physician in the department of infectious diseases at Aalborg (Denmark) University Hospital and the study's lead author. "Nevertheless, our observations warrant confirmation in other settings and the biological mechanisms by which statin treatment may protect against this type of infection should be explored further."

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