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Statins Improve Long-Term Outcomes After First Stroke

Therapy significantly reduces the 10-year risk of recurrent stroke and also improves survival

WEDNESDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- First-ever acute ischemic stroke patients who are prescribed statins after hospital discharge may have a significantly lower long-term risk of recurrent stroke or death, according to a study published in the May 26 issue of Neurology.

Haralampos J. Milionis, M.D., of the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, and colleagues studied 10-year outcomes in 794 patients admitted to the acute stroke unit and the general medicine and neurology ward at their institutions, 198 of whom were prescribed statins upon discharge.

The researchers found that the rate of recurrent stroke was significantly lower among statin users compared to nonusers (7.5 versus 16.3 percent). They found that post-discharge statin therapy was independently associated with a lower risk of recurrent stroke and mortality (adjusted hazard ratios, 0.65 and 0.43, respectively).

"Our findings support the need for statin treatment in the secondary prevention of stroke and the need for more studies in the future, including lipid-lowering treatment modalities standardized to a particular drug or to a particular dosage regimen," the authors conclude. "These studies should also examine whether the benefit of statins in reducing the risk of first-time or recurrent stroke is due to their potent lipid-lowering effects, pleiotropic effects, or a combination of the two."

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