Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs May Significantly Cut Stroke Risk in Elderly

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs, Stroke Risk
Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs, Stroke Risk

(HealthDay News) — Older patients taking statins or fibrates saw their risk of stroke over almost a decade decline by about one-third, according to a report published online May 19 in The BMJ.

Christophe Tzourio, MD, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Bordeaux and Inserm in France, collected data on 7,484 French men and women, average age 74 years, with no history of vascular events when the study began.

During an average follow-up of nine years, the investigators found that those who took statins or fibrates had a one-third lower risk of stroke compared with those who didn't take them. No association, however, was found between statins and a lower risk of coronary heart disease in this group, the researchers said. The reduction in the risk of stroke attributed to statins did not change when the researchers took into account other factors such as age, sex, weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

"If confirmed, these results suggest that keeping patients on cholesterol-lowering drugs could lower their stroke risk," Tzourio told HealthDay. "But these findings should not be interpreted as an indication for starting these drugs in older adults."

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