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Cholesterol drugs may aid critically ill patients

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For critically ill hospital patients, continued use of statins may help prevent confusion and disorientation, Counsel and Heal reported.

In a study published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care, researchers assessed 470 intensive care patients and found that patients who used cholesterol-lowering drugs before hospital admission had a lower risk of delirium and systemic inflammation the following day.

Though researchers said the causes of delirium are not well understood, their findings suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of statins may help decrease neuro-inflammation.

"Our findings suggest that statin treatment should be continued to help prevent delirium in critically ill patients who received statins before being admitted," lead author Valerie J Page, of the Watford General Hospital in Watford, said in a news release. "The relationship between statin therapy and delirium and the mechanisms underlying this relationship are the subject of an ongoing randomized, placebo-controlled study in critically ill ventilated patients."

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