Cholesterol-lowering statin medications reduce the risk of recurrent stroke in patients who have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, a new analysis indicates.
The study, conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University, is the first that focuses on the effect of statin treatment on secondary stroke prevention in people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
The primary conclusion of the clinical trial found that the statin Lipitor (atorvastatin) reduced the risk of stroke in general. The secondary analysis assessed stroke risk in 794 adults with type 2 diabetes, 642 who had metabolic syndrome, and 3,295 people who had neither disorder. All subjects had no known coronary heart disease but had experienced a stroke one to six months before the study.
Researchers found that statins seem to lower the risk of recurrent stroke in people with type 2 diabetes, but diabetics already have a higher risk of stroke. Even with statin treatment, however, those with diabetes remained at increased risk of secondary stroke, major cardiovascular events, and revascularization procedures, compared with people who did not have diabetes. Patients with metabolic syndrome and those with neither diabetes or metabolic syndrome experienced the similar secondary stroke prevention benefit from statins.
For people who do not have diabetes, statin medications can have cholesterol-lowering benefits. However, new studies show the drugs, in particular Lipitor, puts users at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The risk is even greater for postmenopausal women who are not considered to be overweight.
Source: Phil Star