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"Study: Cholesterol drugs may improve flu survival"


Source: CTV.CA

Published: 30 Oct 2021

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (1½ stars)

Keywords: lipitor flu seasonal flu statins cholesterol

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

A new treatment for swine flu may already be on pharmacy shelves -- cholesterol-lowering statin drugs like Lipitor and Zocor.

A large study found that people who were taking these drugs when they caught seasonal flu and had to be hospitalized were twice as likely to survive than those who were not on such medicines...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 3 of 10
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Not Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This is a poor story implying, based on a cohort study that is subject to bias, that statins may improve survival from infectious diseases such as the flu.

Not only is there a bias in the kind of research underlying the story (healthy user bias), but the implications of these kinds of connections between statin use and the flu are somewhat ludicrous. The article misses some really important elements, including potential harms of statins and the cost of the potential treatment. In addition, the spokespeople are never identified as having any conflicts of interest.

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