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Benefits of statins to prevent stroke outweigh risks

The benefits of lipid-lowering therapy in the prevention of ischaemic stroke greatly exceed the risk of intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) that may be associated with statins. This conclusion is based on the outcomes of a new meta-analysis of 19 clinical studies [1].

The association between statins and intracerebral haemorrhage risk is still a matter of controversy. A new review and meta-analysis assessed the safety of statins by weighing risks and benefits in terms of cerebral haemorrhagic and ischaemic events. Included were 19 randomised and non-randomised studies with a total of 35,842 patients who had a history of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events and had been treated with statins. The primary endpoint was ICH; secondary endpoints were ischaemic stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

The results could not show a significant association between the risk of combined primary and secondary ICH and statin use (RR 1.03; 95% CI 0.85-1.08). Ho...

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