Statins and stroke prevention

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2009 Oct;7(10):1231-43. doi: 10.1586/erc.09.106.


Over the past decade, statins have been proved to significantly decrease coronary events in the primary and secondary prevention of coronary artery disease. Recent clinical trials have indicated that statins significantly reduce stroke risk in patients with vascular disease. A meta-analysis of randomized trials of statins in combination with other preventive strategies, involving 165,792 individuals, showed that each 1-mmol/l (39 mg/dl) decrease in LDL-cholesterol equates to a reduction in relative risk for stroke of 21.1 (95% CI: 6.3-33.5; p = 0.009). It is not known whether these findings might be due to the cholesterol-reduction effect of statins or to the pleiotropic effects of statins, such as improved endothelial function, decreased platelet aggregability and reduced vascular inflammation. In the secondary prevention of stroke, The Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction of Cholesterol Levels study found that treatment with atorvastatin reduced the risk of recurrent cerebrovascular events in patients with recent stroke or transient ischemic attack but no history of heart disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / prevention & control*


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors