Statins may lower risk of second stroke, new study finds

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For many people recovering from a stroke, the fear of experiencing another one is a constant concern.

A new study suggests that taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins might lower the chances of a second stroke, particularly of the ischemic type.

Different Types of Stroke

There are mainly two types of strokes: intracerebral hemorrhage and ischemic stroke.

Intracerebral hemorrhage happens when there’s bleeding in the brain, while ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage stopping the blood flow to the brain. Ischemic strokes are the most common.

It’s important to understand the difference because treatments and risk factors can vary.

What Did The Study Find?

The study was led by Dr. David Gaist of the University of Southern Denmark.

He and his team examined health records from Denmark involving 15,151 people who had suffered a first bleeding stroke, also known as an intracerebral hemorrhage.

They followed these patients for an average of 3.3 years and noted any occurrences of additional strokes. They found that people taking statins after their first bleeding stroke had a lower risk of suffering from any additional stroke.

Notably, they had a 21% lower risk of an ischemic stroke. However, statin use did not affect the risk of having another bleeding stroke.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Of the 1,959 people who had a second stroke, 39% were taking statins.
  • Of the 7,400 people who did not have a second stroke, 41% were on statins.

After adjusting for other factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, and alcohol use, the researchers concluded that statin use was associated with a 12% lower risk of experiencing any type of second stroke.

Why This Study Matters

Previous research has been inconclusive about the risks and benefits of taking statins after a bleeding stroke.

Dr. Gaist noted that while the study found a lower risk of having another stroke, particularly an ischemic one, there was no increased risk for another bleeding stroke.

“The results of our study are good news for people taking statins who have had a bleeding stroke,” Gaist added.

However, more research is needed to confirm these findings. One limitation is that the study focused on the Danish population, which primarily consists of people of European ancestry.

Therefore, the results may not be applicable to people from other ethnic backgrounds.

In summary, this research provides some hope for those who have experienced a bleeding stroke and are on cholesterol-lowering statins.

Not only might these drugs help with managing cholesterol, but they could also reduce the risk of suffering another stroke. However, further research is needed to solidify these findings and make them universally applicable.

If you care about stroke, please read studies that diets high in flavonoids could help reduce stroke risk, and MIND diet could slow down cognitive decline after stroke.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce the risk of dementia, and tea and coffee may help lower your risk of stroke, dementia.

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