Statins are a type of drug that is used to reduce levels of cholesterol in the body. They are one of the most popular prescribed medicines in the United States, and they are often used to treat people who have high levels of cholesterol or who have a risk of developing heart disease. Recent research has shown that statins may have other benefits as well, including reducing the risk of stroke.
When the blood supply to the brain is cut off, brain cells die and are permanently damaged, which is what happens in a stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke, which happens when an artery that supplies blood to the brain, bursts and bleeds, and ischemic stroke, which happens when a clot blocks an artery that supplies blood to the brain, are the two main types of stroke. Ischemic strokes are the most frequent kind, making up about 87% of all strokes. According to recent research, statins may lower the risk of ischemic stroke.
A study published in The Lancet examined the effects of statins on the risk of stroke in more than 100,000 patients. The researchers found that patients who took statins had a 25% lower risk of ischemic stroke than those who didn’t take the medication.
The researchers also found that the risk reduction was most pronounced in patients with high cholesterol levels. In particular, patients with high levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad“ type of cholesterol) had a 36% lower risk of ischemic stroke if they were taking statins. The mechanism by which statins lower the risk of stroke is not yet known.
It’s possible that statins function by lowering blood cholesterol levels, which can aid in preventing blood clots from forming in the arteries supplying blood to the brain. Additionally, statins may lessen inflammation, which can aid in lowering the risk of stroke.
Statins may aid in lowering the risk of other cardiovascular conditions in addition to lowering the risk of stroke. For instance, statins may lower the risk of heart attack and death from heart disease, according to a study that was released in the journal Circulation.
Statins might not be appropriate for everyone, and it is important to remember that. Certain medical conditions, such as kidney or liver disease, may increase the risk of statin side effects in some individuals. Before beginning to take statins, it’s crucial to discuss their safety with your doctor.
Finally, statins may lower the risk of ischemic stroke, the most prevalent kind of stroke. They might also lower the chance of developing other heart-related problems like heart attacks and dying from the disease. To make sure that statins are safe for you, it is crucial to consult your doctor before taking them.