Keep taking statins after a stroke, patients told

Henrietta Strickland
August 4, 2017

This association was not seen in non-Stroke Belt residents.

The study has found that patients who stopped taking the medication three to six months after discharge ran a much higher risk of having a second stroke, as well as a substantially higher risk of dying from other causes. The American Heart Association recommends the cholesterol lowering drug for reducing the risk of another stroke.

Researchers studied people who had been hospitalized with stroke. They all received either high or moderate intensity statins within three months after they left the hospital.

Interestingly, patients who shifted from a high to a lower dose of statins did not have an increased risk of a second event.

Discontinuing statins also increased the risk of death from any cause by almost 40 percent.

Data used by the researchers for the new study was collected by the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database from 2001 to 2012.

The study was retrospective, meaning the researchers only used data from the patients' medical histories, so the researchers can not determine why some stroke patients stopped taking statins.

"All survivors of ischemic stroke should be evaluated to determine whether they could benefit from a statin, regardless of the patient's age, race, sex, or geographic residence", lead author Karen Albright, PhD, DO, MPH, of the Birmingham VA Medical Center, said in a press release.

Researchers also found that stopping statins, which lower cholesterol, between three and six months after a first ischemic stroke was linked to higher risk of death.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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