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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
Millions of people who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results are prescribed statin medications. New research indicates that these drugs may improve the recovery of patients who have suffered strokes.
The findings could lead to major improvements in treatment of stroke patients. Currently, this cardiovascular event is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., and many of those who are lucky enough to survive a stroke end up confined to a nursing home. Statins could change this.
For the study, a team of researchers from Kaiser Permanente of Redwood City, Calif., analyzed the medical records of 12,689 individuals who suffered strokes. The team assessed treatment outcomes and whether patients took statins.
The results showed that 57 percent of statin users were able to return home after rehabilitating in the hospital. Only 47 percent of non-statin users returned home. Furthermore, stroke patients who took statin medications were half as likely to die while hospitalized as non-users.
"Statins are known to reduce the risk of further strokes, but the timing of when a statin should be started has been unclear," said lead researcher Alexander C. Flint. "Our research suggests that people should be given statins while they are in the hospital."
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