Do statins reduce the risk of stroke?
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HMG Co-A reductase inhibitors (statins) are effective for primary prevention of ischemic stroke in people who have a history of occlusive artery disease, coronary artery disease, or diabetes without history of cerebrovascular disease (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A, based on 1 randomized controlled trial [RCT]). Statins reduce the risk of ischemic stroke in hypertensive patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors and nonfasting total cholesterol <250 mg/dL (SOR: A, based on RCT). Statins also reduce the risk of ischemic stroke for patients with coronary disease or equivalents (such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease), including patients who have a normal fasting lipid profile (SOR: A, based on RCT). For patients with ischemic stroke who have coronary disease, statins prevent recurrent ischemic stroke; evidence is conflicting about whether this benefit is proportional to initial cholesterol levels (SOR: A, systematic review). Statins do not prevent hemorrhagic stroke (SOR: A, based on RCTs).
Journal of Family Practice, 53(7) 2004: 575-577.