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Researchers urge caution when using statins to control stroke risk

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

For individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results, statin medications may be an effective tool for controlling their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. However, a new paper published in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics points out that these medications may not be appropriate for everyone at risk of suffering a cardiovascular event.

The Loyala University researchers who wrote the article said that individuals who have already suffered one stroke are at the highest risk of experiencing another, and statins may appear to be the most useful in these patients. However, the medications are not appropriate following all types of stroke.

Around 85 percent of strokes are caused by blood vessel blockages in the brain. These are known as ischemic strokes and are generally effectively treated by statins. However, the researchers said that there is less evidence regarding the efficacy of using statins following hemorrhagic strokes, which are characterized by bleeding in the brain.

The team concluded that medical professionals should give a significant amount of consideration to the type of stroke suffered by their patients before prescribing statin medications, as evidence is lacking to support their use in certain situations.

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