In The News

Taking statins may improve stroke outcomes

Ischemic stroke patients who were taking statins before and during admission had a 38% increase in the chance of being discharged home, according to Alexander Flint, MD, PhD, of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and colleagues. In addition, patients who started a statin regiment when they were admitted to the hospital for stroke were 18% more likely to be sent home. On the other hand, those who had their statins withdrawn during hospitalization for stroke were 23% less likely to be sent home.

Researchers analyzed data from 12,689 patients admitted over a 7-year period to the 17 hospitals in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California system. The study focused on patient disposition-discharged to home, discharged to another institution, or died in hospital. Dr. Flint and colleagues found that patients who were statin users before admission were more likely to be discharged home than non-users-54.6% versus 50.0%. Those patients also were less likely to die in hospital-7.6% for statin users versus 8.6% for statin non-users.

Conversely, those whose statins were stopped during admission were less likely to be sent home-39.1% versus 54.9% for those whose statins were continued. And they were more likely to die in the hospital-22.3% for statin withdrawal patients and 5.3% for statin continuation patients.

The researchers cautioned the study was observational, rather than randomized, and some details were missing, including the initial NIH Stroke Scale score and stroke subtype. In addition, they noted that long-term functional outcome data were not available.

Dr. Flint and colleagues reported their findings the May 22 issue of Neurology.

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