Pharmacy News

Dr Marie Sartain
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Study confirms statins may lower risk of intracerebral hemorrhage

The efficacy of statins for prevention of ischemic stroke due to blood clot is well established, but a new study in Neurology appears to possibly settle the debate over whether the drugs lower the odds of a first stroke due to intracerebral hemorrhage.

"While statins have been shown to reduce the risk of stroke from blood clots, there has been conflicting research on whether statin use increases or decreases the risk of a person having a first intracerebral hemorrhage," said study author David Gaist, MD, PhD, of the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, in a press release. "For our study, we looked at the lobe and non-lobe areas of the brain to see if location was a factor for statin use and the risk of a first intracerebral hemorrhage. We found that those who used a statin had a lower risk of this type of bleeding stroke in both areas of the brain. The risk was even lower with long-term statin use."

Although it is the second-most common cause of stroke after blood clots, patients are more likely to die when arterial blood suddenly begins to bleed into the brain. Based on health records for more than 88,000 patients who took statins for any duration, the study findings suggest statins lowered their risk of stroke in the lobe and non-lobe regions of the brain by 17% and 16%, respectively, compared with nonusers. The risk reduction increased to 33% and 38%, respectively, after 5 years of statin therapy.

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