Less Than Half of U.S. Stroke Patients Get Rx for Statins

From Drugs.com - August 2, 2017

Less Than Half of U.S. Stroke Patients Get Rx for Statins

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 -- Fewer than half of U.S. stroke survivors are prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins, a new study finds.

Statins are recommended for patients who have had an ischemic stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) to reduce their risk for a repeat stroke or other cardiovascular events, according to the American Heart Association. Ischemic strokes, the most common kind, are caused by blocked blood flow to the brain.

But a 10-year analysis of data from 323 ischemic stroke survivors found only 49 percent were prescribed statins when they were discharged from the hospital.

The findings were published Aug. 2 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

The research also found that prescribing statins varied by patients' geographic location, gender, age and race.

In particular, the researchers looked at the so-called Stroke Belt -- the southeastern part of the country where death from stroke is more common -- and compared it to the rest of the country.

In contrast to previous studies, the new study found that outside the Stroke Belt, black patients were much more likely (42 percent) than whites to receive statins. And men were more likely (38 percent) to receive statins than women.

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