Neurology Today: Danish study finds statin use lowers stroke risk

UC expert comments on implications of recent study

A recent Danish study found that people who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins have a significantly lower risk for one of the most severe kinds of strokes.

Intracerebral hemorrhages (ICH) are caused when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain and causes bleeding in the brain. The study reviewed 16,235 patients admitted to hospitals in Denmark for ICH between 2005-2018 and 640,943 healthy controls from the population matched for age, gender and calendar year.

The study found patients taking statins for less than 1 year had 14% lower odds of ICH, individuals treated for one to five years had a 28% lower risk, patients treated with statins for five to 10 years had a 35% lower risk and patients on statins for 10 or more years had a 47% lower risk.

The University of Cincinnati's Pooja Khatri, MD, was not involved in the study but commented on the results for Neurology Today. She told the publication the study findings are consistent with prior studies.

"It is compelling to see that the longer people were on statins, the less likely they were to have an ICH,” said Khatri, professor of neurology and director of the vascular neurology division in the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Sciences; co-director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute Stroke Center of Excellence and the NIH StrokeNet National Coordinating Center housed at UC; as well as a UC Health physician.

“Overall, as clinicians, we are reassured about prescribing statins to our patients, even if they have had a recent ischemic stroke, and not just to reduce the risk of their next ischemic stroke, but to reduce their risk of the next hemorrhagic stroke," Khatri continued. "This is an impressively large study.”

Read the Neurology Today article.

Featured photo at top courtesy of Unsplash.

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