Statins Curb Excess Recurrent Stroke Risk in Diabetes Patients

Eleanor McDermid

Patients' risk for recurrent stroke is markedly increased if they also have diabetes, but this can be suppressed by atorvastatin treatment, say the SPARCL investigators.

A total of 4731 patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) participated in the SPARCL (Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels) trial, 794 of whom had diabetes. A further 642 patients had the metabolic syndrome, based on World Health Organization and National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria.

As reported in the Archives of Neurology, the overall rate of stroke during the 4.9-year follow-up was 18.1 percent in patients with diabetes, compared with 10.7 percent in those with the metabolic syndrome, and 11.0 percent among patients with neither condition.

The stroke rates for placebo-treated patients were 21.3 percent, 11.1 percent, and 11.6 percent for those with diabetes, the metabolic syndrome, and neither condition, respectively. The corresponding rates among patients assigned to atorvastatin 80 mg/day were 14.9 percent, 10.4 percent, and 10.5 percent.

 

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