Lower Risk of Repeat Vascular Events in Young Adults on Statins

Young adults with ischemic stroke of undetermined etiology benefit from statin therapy

TUESDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults treated with a statin for an ischemic stroke of unknown etiology are at lower risk for subsequent vascular events than were those who are untreated, according to a study published in the Aug. 2 issue of Neurology.

Jukka Putaala, M.D., Ph.D., from the Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland, and colleagues examined the association between statin use and the risk for subsequent vascular events among 1,008 young adults, aged 15 to 49 years, who had a first ischemic stroke between 1994 and 2007. Data for 215 patients with unknown etiology, comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, and information on statin use were collected and, based on statin use, were grouped into never used (143 patients), continuous use (36 patients), and discontinuous use (36 patients). A composite end point of stroke, myocardial infarction, other arterial thrombosis, revascularization, or vascular death was the outcome event.

The investigators found that 33 percent of patients -- primarily those who were older, had a poorer lipid profile, and had hypertension -- used a statin at some time during follow-up (9.0 ± 4.0 years). Twenty percent of the vascular events occurred in those patients who had never used statins, no events in the continuous statin group, and 11 percent in the discontinuous statin group. Patients using statin at any time during follow-up had a lower likelihood of experiencing outcome events (hazard ratio, 0.23), after adjusting for age, sex, dyslipidemia, hypertension, antihypertensive medication, stroke year, and propensity score.

"Young patients with a first ischemic stroke of undetermined etiology who used statin post-stroke had lower rates of new vascular events in a long-term follow-up," the authors write.

Several of the study authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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