Lege Artis Medicinae

[Importance of statin therapy in stroke prevention]

KÁPOSZTA Zoltán, RÁCZ Klára

JANUARY 27, 2009

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2009;19(01)

[Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of major adult disability in developed countries. The annual incidence of hospitalized stroke varies between 400-500 per 100 000 inhabitants every year in Hungary. In the past decade, cholesterol lowering with 3- hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMGCoA) reductase inhibitors (statins) has proved to reduce risk of stroke in patients with and without coronary disease (CAD). In patients with CAD, statin therapy reduces the risk of first stroke by 25% to 35% versus placebo and, moreover, intensive statin therapy to LDL-C targets below 2.6 mmol/L (100 mg/dL) appears to reduce the risk further. More recently it has also been shown that intensive statin therapy can reduce risk of recurrent stroke in nondiabetic as well as diabetic patients with recent stroke or transient ischaemic attack but no CAD. The overall reduction of stroke and TIA was 23%. Evidence from retrospective studies suggests that in addition to risk reduction statin pretreatment may improve stroke outcome. It may due to their pleiotropic effects that include improvement of endothelium function, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, and immunomodulatory effects. As statins have both an excellent safety profile and simple administration, physicians should consider using statins, at dosages shown to have efficacy in clinical trials, in all patients whose cardiovascular risk profile puts them at high risk of stroke.]

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