Statins, taken by millions of Americans to cut heart disease risks, also appear to reduce the odds of suffering a stroke.
That’s the upshot of new research out of Japan that found cholesterol-lowering statins cut users’ risks for developing strokes as a result of blood vessel blockages in the brain.
The study tracked the use of pravastatin, a widely used statin, in a group of more than 1,500 patients for five years. About half of the individuals were prescribed the drug; the other half received a placebo.
Over the course of the study, Hiroshima University researchers found those taking a low dose of the statin suffered fewer strokes than the untreated patients.
Statins are widely used to reduce high cholesterol levels in blood, linked to cardiovascular diseases.
"The pravastatin dose used in this study is lower than that used in studies from Western countries, but it is the approved standard dose in Japan," said lead researcher Masayasu Matsumoto.
"Stroke is a heterogeneous disease with different etiologies with or without underlying arterial pathologies. Thus, the benefits of statin may be different depending on the subtypes of the stroke."
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