Statins have been reported to be beneficial for infections such as pneumonia and Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia. In the case of skin and soft tissue infections however, statin use is ironically associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes, which is a risk factor for such infections. In a British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study, statin use for as little as 91 days was linked with elevated risks of skin and soft tissue infections and diabetes. The increased risk of infection was seen in individuals who did and did not develop diabetes.
The study examined prescription claims from 2001 to 2011 from the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs.
"We feel the results reinforce the need for clinicians to be aware that statin use may be associated with diabetes, as well as a possible increased risk of skin infections," said lead author Humphrey Ko, of Curtin University in Australia.