Taking cholesterol drugs in hospital may improve stroke outcomes

May 21, 2012

A new study suggests that using cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins after having a stroke may increase the likelihood of returning home and lessen the chance of dying in the hospital. The research is published in the May 22, 2012, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

" are known to reduce the risk of further strokes, but the timing of when a statin should be started has been unclear," said study author Alexander C. Flint, MD, PhD, with Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, Calif., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "Our research suggests that people should be given statins while they are in the ."

Researchers examined the records of 12,689 people admitted to a Kaiser Permanente hospital in northern California with an over a seven-year period.

Electronic medical and pharmacy records were used to determine statin use before and during hospitalization.

Outcomes of hospital visits were identified as discharged to home, discharged to an institution, such as a or nursing home, or death in the hospital.

The study found that people who used statins before and during their hospital stay were more likely to return home than people who did not use statins, with 57 percent of the statin users returning home compared to 47 percent of the non-users. Six percent of those who used statins before and during the hospital stay died in the hospital, compared to 11 percent of those who did not use statins.

For the study, the authors employed both a previously developed known as "grouped-treatment analysis" and a new technique known as "last prior treatment analysis." Together, these methods appear to strengthen the causal relationship between statin use and improved discharge disposition.

"There are a multitude of benefits to returning directly home after experiencing a stroke for the patient and the family, both functionally and financially," said Flint.

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

More information: To learn more about stroke, visit www.aan.com/patients

Related Stories

Study finds no link between statins and cancer risk

July 25, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reports that, contrary to previous studies, the use of cholesterol reducing statin drugs does not increase the risk of patients ...

Recommended for you

Mounting challenge to brain sex differences

January 17, 2017

How different are men and women's brains? The latest evidence to address this controversy comes from a study at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, where a meta-analysis of human amygdala volumes found no ...

Scientists find sensor that makes synapses fast

January 17, 2017

Synapses, the connections between neurons, come in different flavors, depending on the chemical they use as transmitter. Signal transmitters, or neurotransmitters, are released at the synapse after calcium ions flow into ...

Multiregional brain on a chip

January 13, 2017

Harvard University researchers have developed a multiregional brain-on-a-chip that models the connectivity between three distinct regions of the brain. The in vitro model was used to extensively characterize the differences ...

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.