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29-03-2011 | Stroke | Article

Acute statin therapy improves survival after ischemic stroke


Free abstract

MedWire News: Prestroke and acute poststroke statin therapy can significantly improve survival rates in ischemic stroke patients, show study results.

Danielle Ní Chróinín (Mater University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland) and colleagues investigated whether statin therapy at or before stroke onset improved early and late outcomes in 448 ischemic stroke patients (aged ≥18 years) from the North Dublin Population Stroke Study.

Prestroke and acute (≤72 hours) poststroke medications were recorded for all patients, and follow-up assessments were performed at 7, 28, and 90 days, and after 1 year.

Overall, the researchers found that statins were prescribed before stroke onset in 30.1% of patients and was continued after stroke in 87.3% of these patients. An additional 42.5% of patients were given statin therapy within 72 hours of stroke onset.

After adjusting for age, prestroke disability, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, hypertension, and aspirin use, patients treated acutely with statins poststroke were 88% more likely to survive to 7 days than untreated patients, and 81% and 74% more likely to survive to 90 days and 1 year, respectively.

Similar findings were observed in the group prescribed statins before stroke onset; treatment was associated with a 96% improvement in 7-day survival, and a 77% and 52% improvement in 90-day and 1-year survival, respectively, compared with untreated patients.

In addition, acute statin treatment after stroke was associated with a 2.23- and 2.20-fold improvement in functional outcomes at 7 days and 90 days, respectively, compared with no treatment, while prestroke therapy was associated with a respective 1.68- and 1.80-fold improvement.

"The potential effects of acute statin treatment after stroke are particularly relevant," comment Chróinín et al in the journal Stroke.

"Most patients experiencing stroke will not be using statin therapy before stroke onset, and clinical trials of acute statin therapy would likely begin treatment in this time window to maximize anticipated benefits," they explain.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Nikki Withers

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