Cholesterol-lowering drugs may help prevent stroke recurrence

May 26th, 2009 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 26 (IANS) Cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, taken after a heart stroke, are likely to prevent its recurrence, according to a new study.
Besides, those who take statins under such conditions may also be less likely to die within the next 10 years than those who do not take the drug.

“Considering the large burden that stroke carries around the world, these potential benefits of statins are significant,” said study author Sotirios Giannopoulos, from the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece.

“Also, second strokes tend to result in more disability and longer time spent in hospitals than first strokes, so anything that can prevent these recurrent strokes is beneficial,” said Giannopoulos.

The study involved 794 people who had strokes and had health information available for 10 years after the stroke.

Researchers looked back at the records to see what factors affected the risk of having a second stroke or dying within 10 years after the first.

During that time, 112 people had a second stroke and 224 people died. Those who took statins were 35 percent less likely to have a second stroke and 57 percent less likely to die within 10 years than those who did not take statins.

About eight percent of those on statins had a second stroke, compared to 16 percent of those not taking statins, a University of Ioannina release said.

Researchers analysed other risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and heart problems, but found that statin use was the only factor tied to a reduced risk of recurrent stroke and death.

The study was published in Tuesday’s issue of Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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