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Statins may reduce the occurrence of strokes due to larger artery atherosclerosis

Date:
December 2, 2015
Source:
Hiroshima University
Summary:
Researchers examined whether pravastatin, a traditional statin widely used in the clinic, reduces the recurrence of strokes and respective subtypes in non-cardioembolic stroke patients. The study also examined whether the use of pravastatin favorably impacts the occurrence of other vascular events, and stroke-related functional outcomes were explored.
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The results of "The Japan Statin Treatment Against Recurrent Stroke (J-STARS)" study led to the hypothesis that statins reduce the occurrence of strokes due to larger artery atherosclerosis.

J-STARS examined whether pravastatin, a traditional statin widely used in the clinic, reduces the recurrence of strokes and respective subtypes in non-cardioembolic stroke patients. The study also examined whether the use of pravastatin favorably impacts the occurrence of other vascular events, and stroke-related functional outcomes were explored.

Statins are widely used to reduce cholesterol levels in blood. High cholesterol levels are associated with cardiovascular diseases such as strokes, so statins are thought to be beneficial for stroke prevention. However, these findings are obtained from patients without prior stroke, and the preventive effect is less robust in patients with prior stroke.

J-STARS is a multicenter, randomized, open-label, blinded-endpoint, parallel-group study of patients who experienced a non-cardioembolic ischemic stroke. In total, 1578 patients were recruited and randomly assigned to either the pravastatin group or the control group.

During a follow-up of about 5 years, the incidence of recurrent strokes was about 2.6%/year in both groups. The onset of atherothrombotic infarction, a stroke subtype, was clearly less frequent in the pravastatin group, whereas no significant difference was found for other stroke subtypes. No significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of the occurrence of adverse effects, which included cancer and laboratory examinations.

Professor Masayasu Matsumoto, a J-STARS principal investigator at Hiroshima University said "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." He explained "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."

The majority of previous studies defined stroke as a whole with no distinction between subtypes. Moreover, current international guidelines uniformly recommend the use of statin for secondary stroke prevention.

According to Professor Matsumoto, "Further studies are required to determine whether such guidelines are applicable for Asians. Although the current study has certain limitations, J-STARS can contribute to the establishment of guidelines for using statins to prevent strokes caused by larger artery atherosclerosis."


Story Source:

Materials provided by Hiroshima University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Naohisa Hosomi, Yoji Nagai, Tatsuo Kohriyama, Toshiho Ohtsuki, Shiro Aoki, Tomohisa Nezu, Hirofumi Maruyama, Norio Sunami, Chiaki Yokota, Kazuo Kitagawa, Yasuo Terayama, Makoto Takagi, Setsuro Ibayashi, Masakazu Nakamura, Hideki Origasa, Masanori Fukushima, Etsuro Mori, Kazuo Minematsu, Shinichiro Uchiyama, Yukito Shinohara, Takenori Yamaguchi, Masayasu Matsumoto. The Japan Statin Treatment Against Recurrent Stroke (J-STARS): A Multicenter, Randomized, Open-label, Parallel-group Study. EBioMedicine, 2015; 2 (9): 1071 DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.08.006

Cite This Page:

Hiroshima University. "Statins may reduce the occurrence of strokes due to larger artery atherosclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151202124250.htm>.
Hiroshima University. (2015, December 2). Statins may reduce the occurrence of strokes due to larger artery atherosclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151202124250.htm
Hiroshima University. "Statins may reduce the occurrence of strokes due to larger artery atherosclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151202124250.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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