Anti-inflammatory effects of statins: clinical evidence and basic mechanisms

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2005 Dec;4(12):977-87. doi: 10.1038/nrd1901.


Chronic inflammation is a key feature of vascular disease states such as atherosclerosis. Multiple clinical studies have shown that a class of medications termed statins lower cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Originally developed to lower serum cholesterol, increasing evidence suggests that these medications have potent anti-inflammatory effects that contribute to their beneficial effects in patients. Here, we discuss the clinical and experimental evidence underlying the anti-inflammatory effects of these agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors