Statins, a class of drug used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, may also help fight infections, according to a new Danish study. Presented at the recently held 50th annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, (ICAAC), the authors of the research said that more investigation was required to determine whether statins could be recommended as a treatment for infections such as pneumonia, sepsis or blood infections secondary to organ transplants. The authors of the research paper studied about 70,000 patients with pneumonia that included 7,000 who were on statins. They discovered that there was 31% lower mortality in the subset on statins compared to the others. Dr. Reimar Thomsen, of Aarthus University Hospital in Denmark said, “But the study did not look at a multifactorial bigger picture. For example the people on statins tended to be younger and fitter and better off than the others. So I believe we need to interpret these findings with great caution. Therefore, randomised statin therapy trials among persons with pneumonia are badly needed to confirm or contradict the observational findings.” Meanwhile, according to Dr. Mathew Falagas of the Alpha Institute in Athens, Greece, a study of people with sepsis revealed that statins showed a “beneficial effect … for the prevention and the treatment of patients with infection.” “But some facts limit the strength of evidence including the fact that they are very heterogenic in nature and that it’s not same statins or dosages and the subject varied from healthy people to chronically ill,” he cautioned. “Statins cannot and should not be recommended for the use at the present time for prevention and treatment of infections,” Dr. Falagas concluded.