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Thursday, October 22, 2020

New research finds statins associated with severity of Covid-19 disease

In short, statins remove cholesterol from cell membranes, which in turn prevents the coronavirus from getting in.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 28, 2020 8:47:22 am
This electron microscope image shows novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. (NIAID/National Institutes of Health via AP)

Statins are a widely used medication for lowering cholesterol. Recent research from US San Diego (University of California at San Diego) School of Medicine associated statins with reduced risk of developing severe Covid-19 disease, as well as faster recovery times.

Now another research team, also from UC San Diego School of Medicine, has explained why this happens. The first study is published in The EMBO Journal, and the new one in the American Journal of Cardiology. In short, statins remove cholesterol from cell membranes, which in turn prevents the coronavirus from getting in.

We know that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19,enters the human cell by using a protein known as ACE2 on the cell surface. ACE2 can be affected by prescription statins.

Researchers retrospectively analysed the electronic medical records of 170 patients with Covid-19 and 5,281 Covid-negative control patients hospitalised at UC San Diego Health between February and June 2020. Among the patients with Covid-19, 27 per cent were taking statins on admission.

Statin use was associated with a more than 50 per cent lower risk of developing severe Covid-19. Patients taking statins also recovered faster than those not taking statins.

Source: UC San Diego Heath

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