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Cholesterol drugs lower risk of stroke for elderly too Print E-mail
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ศุกร์, 05 กันยายน 2008

        Study finds low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is lowered in both younger and older people taking atorvastatin

Elderly people who take a cholesterol drug after a stroke or transient ischemic attack lower their risk of having another stroke just as much as younger people in the same situation, according to research published in the September 3, 2008, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Even though the majority of strokes and heart attacks occur in people who are 65 and older, studies have found that cholesterol-lowering drugs are not prescribed as often for older people as they are for younger people,” said study author Seemant Chaturvedi MD, of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. “These results show that using these drugs is just as beneficial for people who are over 65 as they are for younger people.”

The study involved 4731 people age 18 and older who had a recent stroke or transient ischemic attack. The 2249 people age 65 and older were in 1 group, with an average age of 72 years, and the 2482 people under age 65 made up the other group, with an average age of 54 years. Within each group, about half of the people received the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin and about half received a placebo. The participants were then followed for an average of 4.5 years.

Low-density lipoprotein “bad” cholesterol, was lowered by an average of 61 points during the study for the elderly group, and by 59 points for the younger group. Those in the younger group reduced their risk for another stroke by 26%; the risk was reduced by 10% in the elderly group.

“We tested to see whether age had any effect on how well the treatment worked, and we did not find any differences between young people and older people,” Chaturvedi said. “It’s estimated that 20% of the US population will be 65 or older by 2010, so it’s important that we identify ways to reduce the burden of strokes and other cerebrovascular diseases in this group. This is a step in that direction.”

The study was part of a large study called the Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) trial.

The study was supported by Pfizer Inc., maker of atorvastatin.

Source: News Release
American Academy of Neurology
September 3, 2008


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