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Scientists identify new potential benefits of statins beyond lowering cholesterol

Scientists identify new potential benefits of statins beyond lowering cholesterol

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Statins are a class of drugs that lower blood cholesterol levels. They work by blocking an enzyme in the liver that is responsible for making cholesterol.

Recent research has linked cholesterol-lowering drugs to a lower risk of bleeding.

According to recent research, individuals who use statins, a class of drugs that lower cholesterol levels, 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.

“Although statins have been shown to reduce the risk of stroke from blood clots, there is conflicting research on whether statin use increases or decreases a person’s risk of a first intracerebral hemorrhage,” said study author David Geist, MD, PhD. D., on University of Southern Denmark in Odense and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “For our study, we looked at lobular and non-lobular regions of the brain to see if location was a factor in statin use and risk of first intracerebral hemorrhage. We found that those who used statins had a lower risk of this type of bleeding in both areas of the brain. The risk was even lower with long-term use of statins.

The lobe region of the brain includes most of the brain, including the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. The nonlobular region mainly includes the basal ganglia, thalamus, cerebellum, and brainstem.

For the purpose of the study, the researchers reviewed health records in Denmark and identified 989 people with an average age of 76 who had an intracerebral hemorrhage 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 an intracerebral hemorrhage in the non-lobular parts of the brain. They were compared with 46,755 people who had not had this type of stroke and were similar in age, gender and other factors.

The researchers used prescription data to determine information on statin use.

Of the total participants, 6.8% who had had a stroke had taken statins for five or more years, compared with 8.6% of those who had not had a stroke.

After adjusting for factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and alcohol use, the researchers found that people who were currently taking statins had a 17% lower risk of stroke in the brain lobes and a 16% lower risk of stroke in the non-lobes. – lobular areas of the brain.

Longer use of statins was 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 percent lower risk of stroke in the lobe area of ​​the brain and a 38 percent 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,” Geist added. “However, our study was only done in the Danish population, which is mainly people of European descent. More studies should be conducted in other populations.

Reference: “Association between statin use and location of intracerebral hemorrhage: a nested case-control registry study” by Nils Jensen Boe, Stine Munk Hald, Mi Michaelsen Jensen, Jonas Asgaard Boysen, Mohammad Talal Elhakim, Sandra Florison, Alisa Saleh, Ann 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 December 2022, Neurology.
DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000201664

The study was funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.




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