Scientists identify new potential benefits of statins beyond lowering cholesterol
Recent research has linked cholesterol-lowering drugs to a lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
According to recent studies of individuals using statins, a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs may have a reduced risk of intracerebral hemorrhage. Intracerebral hemorrhage is a type of stroke caused by bleeding in the brain. The study was recently published in the journal Neurology.
“While statins have been shown to reduce the risk of stroke caused by blood clots, there has been conflicting research on whether statin use increases a person’s risk of a first intracerebral hemorrhage,” said study author David Gaist, MD. D., from University of Southern Denmark in Odense and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “For our study, we looked at lobar and non-lobular areas of the brain to see if location was a factor for statin use and risk of first intracerebral hemorrhage. We found that those taking statins had a lower risk of this type of stroke with bleeding in both areas of the brain. The risk was even lower with long-term use of statins.”
The lobe area of the brain includes most of the cerebrum, including the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. The nonlobular region primarily includes the basal ganglia, thalamus, cerebellum, and brainstem.
For the study, researchers looked at medical records in Denmark and identified 989 people with an average age of 76 who had intracerebral bleeding in the lobe area of the brain. They were compared with 39,500 people who had not had this type of stroke and were similar in age, gender and other factors.
They also looked at 1,175 people with an average age of 75 who had intracerebral bleeding in parts of the brain other than the lobes. They were compared with 46,755 people who had not had this type of stroke and were similar in age, gender and other factors.
Researchers used prescription data to determine data on statin use.
Of the total number of participants, 6.8% who had had a stroke had been taking statins for five years or more, compared to 8.6% of those who had not had a stroke.
After adjusting for factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and alcohol consumption, the researchers found that people currently using statins had a 17% lower risk of stroke in the lobes of the brain and a 16% lower risk of stroke in other parts of the brain. – lobes of the brain area.
Longer use of statins is associated with a lower risk of stroke in both areas of the brain. When they used statins for more than five years, people had a 33% lower risk of stroke in the lobe area of the brain and a 38% lower risk of stroke in the non-lobe area of the brain.
“It’s reassuring news for people taking statins that these drugs seem to reduce the risk of bleeding stroke as well as the risk of stroke from blood clots,” Gaist added. “However, our research was conducted only on the Danish population, which is primarily people of European origin. More research should be done in other populations.”
Reference: “Association Between Statin Use and Intracerebral Hemorrhage Location: A Nested Case-Control Registry Study” Nils Jensen Boe, Stine Munk Hald, Mie Micheelsen Jensen, Jonas Asgaard Bojsen, Mohammad Talal Elhakim, Sandra Florisson, Alisa Saleh, Anne Clausen, Sören Möller, Frederik Severin Gråe Harbo, Ole Graumann, Jesper Hallas, Luis Alberto García Rodríguez, Rustam Al-Shahi Salman, Larry B. Goldstein, and David Gaist, 7 Dec 2022, Neurology.
The study was funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.