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Study Analyzes Atorvastatin Use in Elderly Post-Stroke

Elderly and younger patients derive similar benefit from atorvastatin following stroke or transient ischemic attack

THURSDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Age does not affect efficacy in patients treated with atorvastatin for stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), according to a report published online Sept. 3 in Neurology.

Seemant Chaturvedi, M.D., of Wayne State University in Detroit, and colleagues examined whether patients aged 65 and older with a recent stroke or TIA derive the same benefit from treatment with atorvastain 80 mg daily or placebo compared to younger patients treated with atorvastain 80 mg daily or placebo. The 4,731 patient cohort in the Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) study was divided into an elderly group (2,249 patients) and a younger group (2,482 patients), and monitored for fatal and non-fatal stroke.

Both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were similar at baseline in the older and younger cohorts, and LDL was reduced by 61.4 mg/dL and 58.7 mg/dL, respectively, the investigators found. The combined risk of fatal and non-fatal stroke in the younger group was 26 percent lower among patients randomized to atorvastatin, and 10 percent lower in the elderly subjects randomized to atorvastatin. There was no significant heterogeneity for a treatment age interaction between the older and younger groups, the report indicates. The risk of stroke or TIA, coronary events and revascularization procedures were reduced in the elderly group, the researchers report.

"We found that older and younger patients similarly benefited from treatment with atorvastatin 80 mg per day," the authors write. "Cardiac events and revascularization procedures were also lower in both the elderly and younger subgroups treated with atorvastatin. These results support the use of atorvastatin in elderly patients with recent stroke or TIA."

The study was supported by Pfizer, and several of the study authors have a financial relationship with Pfizer.

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