admin - August 3, 2010
I’ve known that statin medications, those cholesterol-lowering drugs that we’ve heard so much about, are good to lower heart attack risk, but I did not know the extent to which they have been proven to lower stroke risk as well.
The Heart Protection Study, a study out of Great Britain, looked at 20,536 people with high-risk disease and examined the effect of a statin drug called simvastatin. The authors write,
“Overall, there was a highly significant 25% proportional reduction in the first event rate for stroke…”
“The results demonstrate that statin therapy rapidly reduces the incidence not only of coronary events but also of ischaemic strokes…even among individuals who do not have high cholesterol concentrations.”
The take-home message: If you have blocked arteries or diabetes, talk to your doctor about the appropriateness of taking a statin, even if your cholesterol isn’t high. There may be a protective effect against both heart attack and stroke.