Patients admitted to hospital with influenza are less likely to die from the disease if they take statins, according to a US study.
Researchers from Oregon Public Health Division looked at 3,043 patients who had been hospitalised with laboratory-confirmed flu between 2007 and 2008.
A third of the group were administered statins before and during their time spent in hospital.
Patients who did not receive statins were nearly twice as likely to die from flu compared with those who did receive statins.
Researchers said: “We may be able to combine statins with antiviral drugs to provide better treatment for patients seriously ill with influenza.”
But they stressed that receiving the flu vaccine every year is still the best defence against the disease.
Previous research has also linked the taking of statins with reduced risk of developing, or dying from, pneumonia.