June 03, 2020

Can Cholesterol Statin Drugs Prevent Sinus Infections?

Lipitor is one example of a common statin drug
Prior to 2020, I would have said that it would be preposterous to think that cholesterol medications can influence chronic sinus infections in any way.

But a 2020 study published in Laryngoscope determined that statin drugs actually decrease the frequency of chronic sinus infections. Nobody understands why that may be.

The effect is relatively small, but definitely present. The population based study found that in those taking a statin, chronic sinus infections accounted for an estimated 0.87% of doctor visit records whereas chronic sinusitis accounted for an estimated 1.61% of doctor visit records among those NOT taking a statin. Though the percentages are relatively small, there is a doubling of the risk.

So if you have high cholesterol... taking a statin drug now as a double benefit!

Reference:
Statin use protective for chronic rhinosinusitis in a nationally representative sample of the United States. Laryngoscope , 130:848–851, 2020

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. He is also the chief medical officer of O2Labz, a medical and scientific 3D animation company.

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