Cholesterol-lowering drugs may help prevent recurrent strokes in younger people

August 1, 2011

New research indicates cholesterol lowering drugs known as statins may help prevent future strokes among young people who have already had a stroke. The study is published in the August 2, 2011, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Because the cause of stroke in young people can be hard to identify, are often not used to prevent further strokes or vascular problems," said study author Jukka Putaala, MD, PhD, with the Helsinki University Central Hospital in Helsinki, Finland. "This study suggests that the drugs should be considered even when the cause of the stroke is unknown and the are not high."

For the study, researchers looked at the medical records of 215 people between the ages of 15 and 49 who experienced a first stroke called an and were then followed for an average of nine years.

One-third of the participants had taken a statin at some point after their stroke. Of the 36 people who continuously took a statin, no one had a second stroke or other vascular problem. Of the 36 people who took a statin at some point after their stroke, four people, or 11 percent, had a second stroke or other vascular problem. Of the 143 people who never took a statin drug, 29 people, or 20 percent, had a second stroke or other vascular problem.

The study found that those who were treated with a statin at any time after the stroke were 77 percent less likely to experience another stroke or vascular problems compared to those not treated with a statin at all. The results were the same after adjusting for factors such as age, , and taking high .

"While the study may be limited by the small number of people who were treated with a statin, at the very least, who have experienced a stroke for unknown reasons should be considered for treatment with cholesterol-lowering drugs," said Putaala.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Zika in fetal brain tissue responds to a popular antibiotic

November 30, 2016

Working in the lab, UC San Francisco researchers have identified fetal brain tissue cells that are targeted by the Zika virus and determined that azithromycin, a common antibiotic regarded as safe for use during pregnancy, ...

Zika and glaucoma linked for first time in new study

November 30, 2016

A team of researchers in Brazil and at the Yale School of Public Health has published the first report demonstrating that the Zika virus can cause glaucoma in infants who were exposed to the virus during gestation.

Flu forecasts successful on neighborhood level

November 30, 2016

Scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health developed a computer model to predict the onset, duration, and magnitude of influenza outbreaks for New York City boroughs and neighborhoods. They found ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.