(HealthDay News) – Statin use during hospitalization for ischemic stroke significantly improves the likelihood of being discharged to home or institution, according to a study published in the May 22 issue of Neurology.

In an effort to determine whether inpatient statin use was associated with improved stroke outcomes, Alexander C Flint, MD, PhD, of Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, CA, and colleagues retrospectively studied the discharge dispositions of 12,689 patients with ischemic stroke treated at 17 hospitals over a seven-year period.

The researchers found that patients who used statins either prior to or during hospitalization after ischemic stroke were significantly more likely to be discharged to home (odds ratio [OR], 1.38) or discharged to home or institution (OR, 2.08). A good discharge outcome was less likely among patients who underwent statin withdrawal (discharge to home OR, 0.77; discharge to home or institution OR, 0.43).

“Statins are known to reduce the risk of recurrent ischemic stroke after a patient has had an initial stroke, but the timing of when a statin should be started has remained unclear,” the authors write. “The data presented here add further evidence to argue that ischemic stroke patients should be treated with a statin at the time of stroke hospitalization, as in-hospital statin use appears to significantly improve not only post-stroke survival but also discharge disposition.”

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