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Inpatient statins up chances of survival for hemorrhagic stroke patients

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Before giving up those cholesterol-lowering statins, read this. A new study finds that people who suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke and have been treated with statins in a hospital are more likely to survive as opposed to those who don’t take it.

Hemorrhagic stroke, otherwise referred to as intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), is a bleeding condition in the brain.

Published in the JAMA Neurology, the study discovers that patients being treated in the hospital with statins were said to be more likely to have survived 30 days following a hemorrhagic stroke as compared to those who weren’t treated with such. Ratio of which is 81.6 percent against 61.3 percent.

These patients on statin use were also found to have more possibility of being discharged to home or a critical rehabilitation facility than patients who weren’t on such medication, with 51.1 percent as opposed to 35 percent.

"Some previous research has suggested that treating patients with statins after they suffer hemorrhagic stroke may increase their long-term risk of continued bleeding," Alexander Flint, MD, PhD, a lead author of the study, says in a statement.

Flint, however, adds that their findings suggest that discontinuing the use of statins for said patients may bring about substantial risks.

The study states that patients on statin therapy as outpatient before having hemorrhagic stroke who didn’t take statin therapy as inpatient were found to have a mortality rate of 57.8 percent than patients on statins before and during hospitalization whose mortality rate is 8.9 percent.

"Inpatient statin use is associated with improved outcomes after ICH, and the cessation of statin use is associated with worsened outcomes after ICH. Given the association between statin cessation and substantially worsened outcomes, the risk-benefit balance of discontinuing statin therapy in the acute setting of ICH should be carefully considered," the study concludes.

To conduct the research, medical and pharmacy histories of 3,481 individuals with hemorrhagic stroke and previously admitted to any of the 20 hospitals of Kaiser Permanente in the Northern California within 10 years were examined.

The researchers studied patient’s data survival and discharge in 30 days following a stroke.

The researchers of the study are from Kaiser Permanente Department of Neuroscience in Redwood City, California, who also recently found that statins can enhance the chance of survival of victims who suffered from ischemic stroke.

Ischemic stroke is a result of an obstruction or constriction of blood vessel, blocking blood from getting through certain brain areas.

"Their study thus requires validation in a prospective cohort. For now, however, it provides sufficient evidence to recommend at least the continuation of statin therapy after nonamyloid ICH for at least 30 days after the initial event," writes Marco A. Gonzalez-Castellon, MD, and Randolph S. Marshall, MD, MS of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, in an editorial accompanying the study.

Gonzalez-Castellon and Marshall add that additional study on this issue is warranted, however.

The study, titled Effect of Statin Use During Hospitalization for Intracerebral Hemorrhage on Mortality and Discharge Disposition, received grant support from Kaiser Foundation Research Institute Community Benefit Program. It was published by said journal on Sept. 22.

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