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Statin Use Post Hemorrhagic Stroke Boosts Survival

First Posted: Sep 23, 2014 04:38 AM EDT

A new study has found that statin boosts longevity in patients who have had a hemorrhagic stroke.

Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain, damaging the nearby brain tissue. According to American Stroke Association, this type of stroke accounts for 13 percent of the total stroke cases and is also known as intracerebral hemorrhage.

The current study, led by researchers at Kaiser Permanente, reveals that patients treated with statin in hospital after surviving hemorrhagic stroke were more likely to survive as compared to those who were not. The same researchers had earlier found that the same cholesterol lowering drug statin, helps boost survival in patients who have had an ischemic stroke that is caused by obstruction of blood vessel that blocks blood from reaching areas of the brain.

"Some previous research has suggested that treating patients with statins after they suffer hemorrhagic stroke may increase their long-term risk of continued bleeding," said lead author Alexander Flint, MD, PhD, of the Kaiser Permanente Department of Neuroscience in Redwood City, Calif. "Yet the findings of our study suggest that stopping statin treatments for these patients may carry substantial risks."

In this study, the researchers focused on 3,481 subjects who were admitted at any of the 20 Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California with hemorrhagic stroke over a 10-year study period. The researchers mainly looked at the survival as well as discharge 30 days after the stroke.

The researchers noticed that patients who were treated with the cholesterol-lowering drug during the stay in the hospital were 81.6 percent more likely to survive 30 days after suffering the hemorrhagic stroke as compared to 61.3 percent in those who were not treated with statin. Also on being treated with statin, the patients were 51.1 percent more likely to be discharged to home or an acute rehabilitation facility as compared to 35 percent otherwise.

Among those who took statin as an outpatient before suffering the stroke and did not receive statin as an inpatient, had a 57.8 mortality rate as compared to the 18.9 percent of those who used statin before and during hospitalization.

Based on these findings, the researchers conclude that there is a strong association between use of statins and improved outcome after surviving hemorrhagic stroke.

The finding is published in JAMA Neurology.

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