The Next Statin Scam: Preventing Strokes
August 24, 2006
A new study supports the use of cholesterol-lowering statin medications to help prevent the recurrence of a stroke. The drugs seemed to help even those with no prior history of heart disease. The study was funded by Pfizer, the drug company that makes Lipitor.
Researchers looked at more than 4,700 people, none with a history of coronary disease, who had suffered from strokes or transient ischemic attacks, a ministroke caused by the temporary blockage of a brain artery. Patients who took Lipitor after a stroke had their risk of a second stroke reduced by 16 percent over five years.
Same Death Rate
However, there was no difference in the overall death rate between those who took statins following their stroke and those who did not. There was also a slight increase in stroke risk among patients who took statins following a rarer kind of stroke caused by a leaking blood vessel.