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Statin discontinuation post-stroke increases risk for recurrence

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According to Taiwanese researchers, stopping statin therapy after a first ischemic stroke elevates the risk of another stroke within the following year. Their retrospective study followed more than 45,100 patients whose statin regimens were discontinued, scaled down, or maintained after suffering ischemic stroke from 2001–12.

According to Taiwanese researchers, stopping statin therapy after a first ischemic stroke elevates the risk of another stroke within the following year. Their retrospective study followed more than 45,100 patients whose statin regimens were discontinued, scaled down, or maintained after suffering ischemic stroke from 2001–12. A total of 2,120 new strokes were documented in the study population at 1-year followup, investigators reported in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Multivariable analyses revealed that risk for ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke was 4.4% among patients who continued to take statins 3–6 months following first ischemic stroke but 6.2% for those who quit statin therapy within that time frame. In addition to inflating the risk of repeat stroke, statin discontinuation increased the likelihood of death for any reason, all major events, and hospitalization. "These findings suggest that providers and artherosclerotic stroke patients should not discontinue statin therapy unless there is a highly compelling reason for doing so," the research team concluded.

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