What is the role of statins in the treatment of hemorrhagic stroke?

Updated: Apr 22, 2019
  • Author: David S Liebeskind, MD, FAAN, FAHA, FANA; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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In a retrospective multicenter cohort study of 3481 patients with intracerebral hemorrhage over a 10-year period, Flint et al found that inpatients who received a statin (lovastatin, simvastatin, atorvastatin, pravastatin sodium) had better 30-day survival rates following the bleeding event and were more likely to be discharged home or to a rehabilitation center than those who didn’t receive a statin while hospitalized—despite the fact that the statin users had significantly more severe illness and more comorbidities than non statin users. [45, 46] Moreover, those whose statins were discontinued during their hospitalization had worse outcomes than those who remained on statins.

Inpatients treated with a statin had an 18.4% unadjusted 30-day mortality rate compared to 38.7% for those not treated with a statin during their admission. [45, 46] After adjustment for various factors (age, sex, race/ethnicity, comorbidities, number of intracerebral hemorrhage cases by hospital, dysphagia), statin users were also more likely to be alive at 30 days (odds ratio [OR], 4.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.46-5.23; P< .001). Inpatients treated with statins had a 51.1% rate of discharge to home or to a rehabilitation facility compared to 35.0% for patients not treated with statins while hospitalized. Furthermore, patients who discontinued statin therapy after hospital admission had an unadjusted mortality rate of 57.8% compared to 18.9% for patients using a statin before and during hospitalization; they were also significantly less likely to be alive at 30 days (OR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.12-0.21; P< .001). [45, 46]

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