Research has shown a connection between the use of a group of cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as statins, and the development of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in smokers.
The link between statins, used for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, and ILDs, a group of diseases affecting the lining of the alveoli, is disputed by scientists.
A new study, conducted in the USA, tested the lung function of 1,184 current or former smokers showed a 60% increase in the risk of interstitial lung abnormalities related to statin use.
The findings added to a number of case studies suggesting a connection between ILDs and statins. The results showed a 60% increase in the risk of interstitial lung abnormalities related to statin use. People of a higher age were identified as most at risk.
The study had limitations as it did not consider information on the duration and dose of statin therapy. The researchers also state that the benefits of statin use for those at risk of cardio-vascular disease probably outweigh the risk of ILD.