Dec. 8, 2022 -- Statins, which are common cholesterol-lowering drugs, might lower a person’s risk of a bleeding stroke, the deadliest kind, a new report in the journal Neurology says. This kind of stroke, called an intracerebral hemorrhage, happens when an artery bleeds into the brain.
Strokes are a leading cause of death and disability in this country. A healthy lifestyle -- better eating, exercise, not smoking -- can reduce your stroke risk.
“Statins are another powerful tool for stroke prevention” CNN said in its report on the Neurology study. “They work by reducing fatty deposits in the arteries and keeping them from building up to cut off blood to the brain. Globally, hundreds of millions of people take them to prevent heart problems or stroke.”
Statins are already known to lower the risk of stroke due to a blood clot.
Researchers have debated whether a statin can lower the risk of a first bleeding stroke. The study’s authors hope this helps settle the question.
“It’s reassuring news for people taking statins that these medications seem to reduce the risk of bleeding stroke as well as the risk of stroke from blood clots,” said study co-author David Gaist, MD, a professor at the University of Southern Denmark.
Researchers studied the health records of 88,000 Danes who had no history of a stroke. During the course of the study, 989 people had a first bleeding stroke in the lobe area of the brain, and 1,175 in other parts of the brain.
Researchers said those using statins had a lower risk of stroke in both areas. The risk became lower with time, with a more than 30% lower risk after five years of taking statins.