News ID: 197978
Published: 0614 GMT August 05, 2017

Stopping statins after stroke may raise risk for another

Stopping statins after stroke may raise risk for another
UPI

Stroke survivors who stop taking cholesterol-lowering statins are at increased risk for another stroke, a new study found.

Researchers studied more than 45,000 ischemic stroke survivors who were prescribed a statin within 90 days of leaving the hospital, UPI wrote.

Ischemic stroke is caused by blocked blood flow to the brain. It is the most common type of stroke.

Compared to those who continued taking statins, patients who stopped three to six months after their stroke were 42 percent more likely to suffer another stroke within a year and 37 percent more likely to die from any cause.

There was no increased risk of another stroke or of death during the study period among patients who continued taking statins at a lower dose, the investigators found. Statins help prevent cholesterol from building up in the arteries.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Dr. Meng Lee, an assistant professor in the department of neurology at Chang Gung University College of Medicine in Taiwan, said, "Based on our findings of this large group of patients in the 'real world’, we believe that statins should be a lifelong therapy for ischemic stroke patients if a statin is needed to lower the patient's cholesterol.

“Even though the study included patients in Taiwan, the results should apply to patients in the US and other countries.

"Discontinuation of statin treatment in patients with ischemic stroke should be strongly discouraged in any stage — acute or chronic — of stroke.

"Shifting to low-intensity statin therapy could be an alternative for stroke patients not able to tolerate moderate or high-intensity statin therapy in the years following a stroke."

   
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