The researchers noted that the likelihood of such people dying in case they used statins for controlling blood cholesterol was much lower. The study involved US veterans being analyzed and in a different study, the statins were essentially linked to a much better response to treatment given for hepatitis C and consequently reduced liver cancer risk. Chronic hepatitis c virus infection has over the years resulted in a severe disease of the liver known as cirrhosis. This usually happens upon replacement of the functional liver cells by the scar tissue and this blocks circulation of blood. Another condition that is usually as a result of this is hepatocellular carcinoma, which is a kind of liver cancer. Eventually, some people tend to experience decompensation at a time when the liver fails to carry out vital functions and this result in symptoms like ascites, bleeding varices or hepatic encephalopathy.

Study findings on the use of statins

A team of researchers looked at how use of statins usually affects the mortality and decompensation in people having compensated cirrhosis and hepatitis C. Levels of cholesterol in the blood are usually lowered by use of statins and they have been fund to help a lot in prevention of cardiovascular disease as well as minimizing the risk of stroke, death and heart attack. In addition, statins also tend to come with some anti- inflammatory effects as well and according to research, they are linked to a reduced progression of liver fibrosis and reduced risk of getting liver cancer.

According to studies, statins can as well decrease portal pressure as well, i.e. blood pressure in veins, which carry blood through the liver from the intestines and stomach among people having cirrhosis and consequently improves the rate of survival among people having bleeding varices. But statins long term effects on decompensation and mortality among people having compensated cirrhosis are not yet known.

Treatment response & liver cancer

Another study looks at the various effects associated with use of statins among US veterans who receive antiviral drugs for treating hepatitis C. In their research, they found that use of statins had a high likelihood for making the people achieve what is known as SVR or sustained virological response for that matter to antiviral therapy in comparison to non- users which was 39% and 33% respectively. Users of statins also had a less likelihood of suffering cirrhosis or developing liver cancer. When adjustments were made for other clinical factors that were relevant, use of statins was still found to have a strong association with the possibility of SVR, slower rate of fibrosis progression and reduced rate of the condition progressing to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.