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Statins lower risk of deadliest bleeding stroke, study says

A new study, published in the journal Neurology, finds statins can lower the risk of the deadliest kind of stroke, an intracerebral hemorrhage. Photo courtesy of RxList
A new study, published in the journal Neurology, finds statins can lower the risk of the deadliest kind of stroke, an intracerebral hemorrhage. Photo courtesy of RxList

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A new study finds statins not only lower a person's risk of stroke due to a blood clot, but can also lower the risk of the deadliest kind of stroke, an intracerebral hemorrhage.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, found patients who used statins had a 17% lower risk of intracerebral or bleeding stroke. For those who used a statin for more than five years, the risk of a bleeding stroke dropped 33% in the lobe areas and 38% in the non-lobe areas.

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Studies have already shown statins, which lower cholesterol, can also lower the risk of ischemic strokes caused by blood clots.

"It's reassuring news for people taking statins that these medications seem to reduce the risk of bleeding stroke as well as the risk of stroke from blood clots," said study co-author Dr. David Gaist, a professor at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense.

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In the study, researchers evaluated the health records of 88,000 residents over the age of 55 in Denmark, where they identified 989 patients with lobar intracerebral hemorrhage and 1,175 patients with non-lobar ICH.

The study found statin use was associated with a lower risk of intracerebral stroke in both groups, and lowered the risk further with extended statin use.

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Stroke, which is preventable and treatable, is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of serious disability for adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Besides eating healthy, exercising and not smoking, statins can also help to reduce fatty deposits in the arteries to protect against strokes.

In August, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended people between the ages of 40 and 75, who are at increased risk for heart attack or stroke, should discuss using statins with their doctors.

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