A new study now advise patients receiving statins a cholesterol lowering drugs after enduring a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain could be at risk for an increased risk of having another stroke.
Statins are known to aide in decreasing the risk of heart disease and ischemic stroke (where a clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain). Nevertheless of this fact, it is not certain if statins benefit those patients who have endured a hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke.
Dr. Steven M. Greenberg, lead researcher and director of the Hemorrhagic Stroke Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, states there is a group of patients that need to think seriously about being on statin and what benefits they are receiving from the drug. Those people who have endured a hemorrhagic stroke and survived it while trying to figure out how to prevent future disease.
Dr. Greenberg remarks for some people being on the medication may be riskier than not taking it.
Head study author Dr. M. Brandon Westover, neurology resident at Massachusetts General adds that a lot relies on where the area of the stroke in the brain. In one case, he notes, the answer was cut and dry that people should not be on those medications.
However, for hemorrhages deep in the brain, most of the time caused by long term high blood pressure, the chances for a new hemorrhage are lower. The findings were less than clear cut. However, people may be a little better in the long run not to be on the medications.
In the study, Dr. Westover and associates had used a computer program called Markov decision model to determine whether statins were a benefit or a risk to a patient after hemorrhagic stroke.
The findings of the study had revealed that patients taking statins had a 14 to 22 percent higher risk of having another hemorrhagic stroke, especially patients whose stroke was lobar intracerebral hemorrhage or bleeding in the part of the brain called cerebrum.
Researchers had discover that for those patients taking statin the risk outweighed any benefit from the medications.
Dr. Greenberg notes that there is enough evidence now to make this something that should be discussed between patient and physician.
In patients whose bleeding was deep inside the brain, the benefits versing risk was on more balanced ground. This is proposes whether or not to prescribe a statin after a hemorrhagic stroke is dependent upon the area of the stroke in the brain.
The reason as to why statins may increase risk for stroke is still unknown. Dr. Westover states it could be from a raised risk of brain bleeding in those people with low cholesterol or statins stopping clotting.
Dr. Greenberg does state that using statins to halt a second stroke, which is caused by a clot in the blood vessel in the brain, is the usual care and is effective.
Director of the Duke Stroke Center, Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, and author of the editorial that accompanied the report states the current information on using statins after a hemorrhagic stroke is restricted however, he does support this study in general.
You can visit the American Stroke Association on hemorrhagic stroke.
Statin drugs are also known to cause side effects such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, liver problems, pain, muscle weakness and sleep disturbances.
These drugs also can cost over $100 a month.
Herbal supplements in which can lower cholesterol:
Policosanol has been shown in clinical trials to offers better results that prescription drugs at lowering cholesterol, raises HDL the good cholesterol and prevents blood clotting.
Hawthorne is effective for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and aides in heart disease. Recommendation is 100 to 300 milligrams daily. If you take a vasodilator do not take this herb.
CoQ10 the levels of CoQ10 seem to be lower in people with high cholesterol. Cholesterol lowering medications such as statins seem to deplete the natural levels of CoQ10 in the body. Taking the supplements can fix the deficiency caused by statin drugs.
Beta-sitosterol which is available in oral supplements or can be found in margarine like Promise.
University of Maryland Medical Center