The role of statins in stroke
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- Paliani, U. & Ricci, S. Intern Emerg Med (2012) 7: 305. doi:10.1007/s11739-011-0603-x
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Although evidence from epidemiological studies examining a relationship between cholesterol level and stroke is less than definitive, there is a compelling evidence from the clinical therapy trials primarily designed to examine the coronary benefits of statins that statin therapy also causes a reduction in the risk of stroke. Even though a stroke does not have the same exact pathophysiology as a heart attack, specific trials in stroke patients confirm advantages and risks of statin therapy in this kind of population. In primary prevention, statins are effective both when low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is raised and when hs-CRP is elevated. In secondary prevention, an absolute reduction of recurrent stroke can be obtained with statins, with a number needed to treat at 5 years of 45.