bacteria petri dishStatin medications such as Lipitor, Crestor, and Zocor are used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, but there has been evidence that they can prevent injury and death from serious infection. The data has been mixed on this topic, and a recent report supports the use of these medications, particularly for people already on the medication who get sick with an infection that results in hospitalization.

The mechanism of protection is thought to be through a reduction in inflammatory chemicals that connect to cholesterol production. Continuing Lipitor during the Intensive Care Unit stay for people already on Lipitor upon arriving at the hospital dropped the death rate from 28% to 5%. So…if you are on a statin, know that is may be providing even more protection that you imagined in this critical setting.