Study: Statins could help critically ill patients avoid delirium



Delirium is a common issue for individuals who are cared for in intensive care units, and this condition could make the healing process strained.

Delirium is a common issue for individuals who are cared for in intensive care units, and this condition could make the healing process strained. This illness is described as a sudden and severe confusion brought on my rapidly changing brain function due to a physical or mental strain, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Although there are several Canadian drugs on the market that can help those who are critically ill stay healthy, a new study suggests that statins could help suppress the mechanism that causes delirium in the first place.

Details of the study
The study, which was conducted by lead author Valerie Page of the Watford General Hospital in the U.K. and her colleagues, was recently published in the American Journal of Respiratory Care and Medicine. During the course of the research, scientists looked at 470 patients in the ICU, 151 of which were taking the cholesterol-reducing drugs before they entered the hospital and were administered statins during their care.

After following these patients from August 2011 to February 2012 and looking at markers for inflammation, the researchers determined that those who received statin treatment, such as medications like Vytorin, had a much lower risk for delirium the day after treatment.

"Our findings suggest that statin treatment should be continued to help prevent delirium in critically ill patients who received statins before being admitted," Page said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society.

Page went on to say that another study comparing patients who take an inactive placebo and people who are administered statin therapy could help reveal even more of a correlation between these drugs and markers for inflammation.

Delirium and critically ill patients
These findings are very important, as many people who encounter delirium while in the ICU could pass away more quickly. Meta analysis from 2012 that appeared in General Hospital Psychiatry suggested that individuals in the ICU with delirium were three times more likely to die compared to those who had no delirium symptoms. Patients who experienced delirium while in critical care were also six times more likely to suffer one or more complications during treatment.

"This is important since it further confirms that delirium is a disease entity that has significant impact on clinical outcome," lead author Dr. Zhongheng Zhang, intensive care specialist at Jinhua Municipal Central Hospital in Zhejiang, China, explained in Science Daily.

Many people buy Vytorin to help reduce their levels of cholesterol, but statins such as these may bring effective treatment for ICU patients in the near future.