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Skipping Meds Raises Stroke Risk

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Thursday, 11 Aug 2016 04:36 PM Current | Bio | Archive

People at risk for heart disease greatly increase their likelihood of suffering a fatal stroke if they don’t take their cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and blood pressure medications as prescribed, a new study says.

The study found that risk rose sevenfold, according to the research in the Journal of American College of Cardiology. The risk was also increased, although to a lesser degree, if the patients stuck to one type of medication but did not take both.

For instance, if patients kept taking blood pressure medication but dropped their statins, their risk of dying from a stroke increased by 82 percent.

Turning the tables, they had a 30 percent added risk of stroke if they took their statins but didn’t take their blood pressure medications.

For the study, the researchers tracked data on more than 58,000 patients with high cholesterol levels. During an average 5.5 years of follow-up, 532 died of stroke.

The researchers used prescription records to track whether people were taking medications as their doctors ordered. They found that only 6 out of 10 people took statins as prescribed.

There are many reasons why patients skip medications. These include their doctor’s failure to explain the importance of them; the rising cost of drugs, which includes even generics; side effects; and also the difficulty in keeping track of multiple medications.

However, this study underscores the importance of taking medications as prescribed to prevent stroke, the researchers noted.

Stroke is responsible for 12 percent of all deaths worldwide, and is the second leading cause of death after heart disease.
 

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Dr-Crandall
People at risk for heart disease greatly increase their likelihood of suffering a fatal stroke if they don’t take their cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and blood pressure medications as prescribed.
medications, stroke, heart disease
258
2016-36-11
Thursday, 11 Aug 2016 04:36 PM
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